Can autism be caused by environmental factors?

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), causes child development as well as the presence of repetitive, restricted behaviors and interests. It is mostly diagnosed in childhood. There are various factors that increase the risk of autism.

If you need more information or you have a question regarding Autism caused by environmental factors, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9327901950. We are always here to help you.

The collection of genetic and environmental factors are some risk factors for autism that may increase the risk of autism. However, there is no solid data to show that ASD can be caused by the environment. We can say that environmental factors increase the risk of autism rather than a cause.

Environment Factors and Genetic Factors

It can affect your risk of autism. If you have blood relation with ASD, you are more likely to develop it as well. Some medical condition also linked with ASD.

According to NIEHS have founded the factors related to gene and environment that causes autism. Let’s have a look at them.

Air pollution

The researchers found that exposure to air pollution during the early life stage can be a cause for autism. The mothers who live near a freeway and the area having the pollution, then during the third trimester of their pregnancy there is the most chance to develop autism. The children with a mutation in the gene called MET may have a risk to develop autism.

Prenatal Conditions and Maternal Factors

There is a higher risk of developing autism into the children whose mother got problems in the immune system and metabolism. The risk of autism also increases with inflammation during pregnancy. The mothers of the autistic children may have the antibodies or the proteins that fight infections which can affect the children’s brain development possibly leading to autism. If the mother suffers diabetes or obesity then the child is more likely to suffer from autism or other developmental disability. Fever at the time of pregnancy can also cause autism.

Metals, pesticides and other contaminants

The exposure to heavy metals like the mercury, arsenic, lead during early childhood can cause autism to develop. The pesticides, zinc or manganese can be a concern of autism.


The deficiency of nutrients can also cause autism. So taking prenatal vitamins may help to reduce the risk of autism. The women take the vitamin are less likely to have a child with autism. Pregnant mothers who use multivitamins with or without additional iron have a lesser chance of having a child with autism or intellectual disability.

According to research, excess metals and other toxins in the environment are risks of autism. If women take drugs such as thalidomide and valproic acid, while she’s pregnant, then it may develop the risk of autism.

Environment risk factors in ASD affects before or during birth. They may include:

  • Advanced parental age at the time of conception
  • Prenatal exposure to air pollution
  • Maternal obesity or diabetes
  • Extreme prematurity and very low birth weight
  • Any birth difficulty leading to periods of prenatal oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain
  • Prenatal exposure to certain pesticides
  • Fragrances contain chemicals that can induce mutations and cause ASD male bias.
  • Synthetic chemicals can cause adverse effects on fetal brain development.

Environmental factors associated with the development of ASD may include many things. Such as pesticides, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, solvents, air pollutants, fragrances, glyphosate, and heavy metals, especially aluminum used in vaccines as the adjuvant.

Majority of these toxicants are the most common ingredients of the cosmetics and herbicides which we use on a daily basis. Example- fragrances, face makeup, cologne, air fresheners, food flavors, detergents, insecticides, and herbicides.

Cure for autism

There is no such cure for autism. Despite, early diagnosis and targeted intervention can help in reducing the impact of a child’s autism on their functioning.


Researchers are currently exploring either such factors such as viral infections, complications during pregnancy and air pollutants play a role in stimulating autism.

Keeping all factors in your mind may reduce your or your child’s risk for autism, but in some cases, it becomes worst and uncontrollable. Talk to your health professionals if you face any such difficulties.

If you need more information or you have a question regarding Autism caused by environmental factors, you can discuss it with our HearingSol healthcare professionals, just give us a call on +91-9327901950. We are always here to help you.

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