"June 18 News: Autism Is Twice As Likely In Children Living Near High Air Pollution Areas"
The largest study to date that examines the link between air pollution and autism found that women living in high-pollution areas were twice as likely to have a child with the disorder. [Bloomberg]
Researchers seeking the roots of autism have linked the disorder to chemicals in air pollution and, in a separate study, found that language difficulties of the disorder may be due to a disconnect in brain wiring.
Researchers from Harvard University’s School of Public Health found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of diesel particulates or mercury were twice as likely to have an autistic child compared with peers in low-pollution areas. The findings, published today in Environmental Health Perspectives, are from the largest U.S. study to examine the ties between air pollution and autism. …
The link to air pollution was initially made in 2006 by a group led by Gayle Windham at the California Department of Health Services. Another study, published in November 2012, also found links between air pollution and autism.
“People were skeptical” of the initial report from Windham’s group, said Marc Weisskopf, an author of today’s study and an associate professor of environmental health and epidemiology at Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston. “I went to do this in a larger setting, not at all convinced we would see anything.”
In the public comment period regarding the proposed gold and copper Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay watershed, the comments supporting the mine come from the Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute. No really: 117,401 out of 118,294 mass e-mail comments came from CEI. [Washington Post]
After beginning the year with record levels of air pollution, Beijing over the weekend detailed targets for pollution reduction, primarily from heavy-polluting industries. [Guardian]
The builders of the Keystone pipeline say they are not planning on using high-tech methods of detecting spills along its route. [Bloomberg]
It is still unclear how or why people exposed to oil spills get sick — and there are no clear federal chemical exposure guidelines for spills. [Inside Climate News]
Canada’s tar sands companies have failed to clean up toxic waste ponds created through tar sands mining, a new report finds. [Guardian]
Experts in Britain’s Met Office are meeting to discuss the country’s extreme weather patterns, including the coldest spring of 50 years this year and the wettest summer in 100 years last year. [The Independent]
45 mayors have signed a pledge promising to prepare their cities for the “disasters and disruptions fueled by climate change.” [Grist]
After Governor Jerry Brown persuaded the California State Legislature to borrow $500 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to balance the budget this year, environmental groups are looking for ways to replace funding for programs that would have been funded by that money. [San Francisco Public Press]
Pope Francis, who takes his name from the patron saint of animals and the environment, has a chance to inspire other religious leaders to become environmental stewards. [Reuters]
Secretary Moniz said yesterday that the Energy Department would “aggressively” pursue solar energy because the potential is “underestimated” and competitive in many areas. [The Hill]
Automakers have recently dropped prices on electric vehicles, boosting demand, and inventories are selling out. [Time]
More on Fisker Automotive’s history and current status following years of financial difficulties. [Reuters]
Electrofuels: making biofuels using microorganisms instead of plants. The latest effort from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-e research unit. [National Geographic News]
A new study finds that 41 percent of bird species, 29 percent of amphibians and 22 percent of corals are “highly climate change vulnerable.” [Care2]
Research into fungus-farming leafcutter ants has revealed enzymes that could allow for biofuel production from the parts of corn stalks other than the cobb. [Mother Jones]
More than half of the coverage of climate change on CNBC cast doubt on climate science. [Media Matters]
Not to worry, though: Bill Nye the Science Guy is on a one-man crusade against climate change deniers. [New York Times]