Sun Mi Kim, Doug Hyun Han, Hang Sik Lyoo, Kyung Joon Min, Kyung Ho Kim, and Perry Renshaw

Psychiatry Investigation

Objective: Environmental pollutants, especially environmental toxins (ET), may have the
potential to disrupt neurodevelopmental pathways during early brain development. This study
was designed to test our hypothesis that mothers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children
would have less knowledge about ET and more chance to be exposed to ET than mothers
with healthy children (MHC).

Methods: One hundred and six biologic mothers with ASD children (MASD) and three hundred
twenty four biologic mothers with healthy children MHC were assessed using two questionnaires
asking about ET.

Results: The total score in response to questions related to knowledge about ET in MHC was
higher than that in MASD. The possibility of exposure to ET was higher in MASD than MHC.
MASD showed higher sub-scale scores in terms of exposures to canned food, plastics, waste
incinerators, old electronics, microwavable food, and textiles.

Conclusion: The current results show that reduced knowledge about ET and greater exposure
to ET may be associated with autism spectrum disorder. Psychiatry Investig 2010;7:122-127
Key Wordsaa Environmental toxins, Autism spectrum disorders, Child behaviors.