Parental Occupational Exposures and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Both self-report and industrial hygienist (IH) assessed parental occupational information were used in this pilot study in which 174 families (93 children with ASD and 81 unaffected children) enrolled in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment study participated. IH results indicated exposures to lacquer, varnish, and xylene occurred more often in the parents of children with ASD compared to the parents of unaffected children. Parents of children with ASD were more likely to report exposures to asphalt and solvents compared to parents of unaffected children. This study was limited by the small sample size, but results suggest that workplace exposures to some chemicals may be important in the etiology of ASD and deserve further investigation.