Autism and Air Pollution: The Link Grows Stronger


Autism and Air Pollution: The Link Grows StrongerChildren with autism are two to three times more likely than other children to have been exposed to car exhaust, smog, and other air pollutants during their earliest days, according to a new study.

That new research adds to a mounting body of evidence that shows a link between early-life exposure to pollution and autism spectrum disorders.

For the new study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers in California analyzed some 500 children living in that state: roughly half had autism and half did not. The kids’ mothers gave an address for each and every home in which they had lived during pregnancy and the child’s first year of life. Researchers took that information — along with data on traffic volume, vehicle emissions, wind patterns, and regional estimates of pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, and ozone — to estimate each child’s likely pollution exposure. According to the study, children in the top 25% of pollution exposure (using one of two different pollution scales) were far more likely to be diagnosed with autism than kids in the bottom 25% of the pollution scale.

The researchers stress, however, that their study does not definitively prove that pollution is the root cause of autism.

“We’re not saying that air pollution causes autism. We’re saying it may be a risk factor for autism,” says Heather Volk, lead author on the new study and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. “Autism is a complex disorder and it’s likely there are many factors contributing,” she says.

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Professional Development Resources is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC #5590); the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC #000279); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR #PR001); the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA #AAUM); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA #3159); and various state licensing boards.

The following continuing education courses on autism were designed for the educational advancement of healthcare professionals:

Free Webinar – Cultural Considerations for the Ethically Aware Clinician

NAADAC is hosting a FREE webinar titled “Cultural Considerations for the Ethically Aware Clinician” to be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

For more information, and to register:

Cultural Considerations for the Ethically Aware ClinicianDescription: The danger of any professional code of ethics is that it might recognize and enforce only the moral values and standards of conduct of the group in power. A truly fair and culturally inclusive code of ethics does more than reflect the cultural perspective of those who wrote the code.

This workshop will examine the basic moral principles that provide a culturally-focused foundation for the ethical conduct of addiction professionals. Autonomy, beneficence, integrity, nonmaleficence, respect and fairness are recognized as universally valued attributes that are manifest and will be discussed in specific cultural context.

A three stage framework for ethical multicultural competence will be presented to increase the awareness and skills of the helping professional and provide a standardized instrument to be used by both professionals and service systems.

Target Audience: addiction professionals, employee assistance professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, professional counselors, psychologists andother helping professionals that are interested in learning about SBIRT.

Renewal Information for Virginia Counselors & MFTs

Continuing education courses for Virginia-licensed counselors and MFTs

Click here to view continuing education courses for Virginia-licensed Counselors & MFTs

Virginia-licensed counselors and MFTs renew their licenses annually on June 30th.

  • 20 hours of continuing education are required per year to renew
  • 2 hours must be in ethics, standards of practice, or laws governing behavioral science professionals in Virginia
  • There is no limit on hours earned through online or home study coursework
  • Courses offered by APA, NBCC, and NAADAC approved providers are accepted by the Board

For more information regarding licensing in Virginia, please visit the Virginia Board of Counseling website @

Professional Development Resources is approved as a provider of continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC Provider #5590); by the American Psychological Association (APA); and by the National Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC, Provider #000279).

Over 150 online, web-based, mail order and test only home study courses are available to meet the CE needs of Virginia-licensed counselors and MFTs.