Study links autism and pesticide use

AFP-JIJI

A California study out Monday found that pregnant women who lived near farms where pesticides are applied had a two-thirds higher risk of having children with autism.

Researchers found risks of autism were highest when the chemicals were applied during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

The authors of the study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives said the developing fetal brain may be particularly vulnerable to pesticides and that pregnant women should take special care to avoid contact with agricultural chemicals.