Analysis finds that prenatal exposure to the pesticide is associated with a higher risk of severe autism with intellectual impairment.
Mothers with high levels of the pesticide DDT in their blood during pregnancy are more likely to bear children who develop autism, according to a study of blood samples from more than one million pregnant women in Finland.
Brown's team found no correlation between the PCB by-product and autism. But when they measured DDT by-product levels in the blood samples, they found that mothers with high concentrations of this chemical — those in the top quartile — were 32% more likely than women with lower DDT levels to give birth to children who developed autism. The likelihood that a child with autism accompanied by intellectual disability was twice as high in mothers with elevated DDT levels compared to those with lower levels.
Read more here at Nature.