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Mapping Contaminants Associated with Autism: A Public Health Pilot in New Jersey

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:11182KB) PP. 706-722
DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2014.66058    3,482 Downloads   4,316 Views   Citations
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Erin Speiser Ihde1, Themba Nyirenda2, Aridaman K. Jain3, Ji Meng Loh3, Francisco Artigas4, Christine Hobble4, Dom Elefante4, Saleh Kojak4, Jin Young Shin4, Lawrence Rosen1

Affiliation(s)

1The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, USA.
2Department of Research, David & Alice Jurist Institute for Research, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, USA.
3Department of Mathematical Sciences, NJ Institute of Technology, Newark, USA.
4Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, Lyndhurst, USA.

ABSTRACT

The rise in reported prevalence rates of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is a national concern that continues to grow at a record pace. New Jersey has the highest prevalence rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among states surveyed, with approximately 1 in 45 children diagnosed. The pilot study focused on toxins potentially linked to autism: arsenic, lead, manganese, mercury, organophosphate pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. In northern NJ there were approximately 4600 Known Contaminated Sites (KCSNJ) where these toxins were detected. A total of 269,790 sample detections were identified. Our objective was to identify and map these sites, and identify methods by which more robust contaminant data could be collected and analyzed. This study resulted in eight original maps showing sample detections. These maps will aid researchers and public health advocates in future analyses exploring links between autism and these toxins. Concentrations of multiple toxins associated with ASDs were most dense near urban industrial or mixed residential/industrial areas, though no conclusions can be made regarding association or causality between the sample detections and autism. Based in part on this study, NJDEP has made and will continue to make improvements to contaminant data collection systems.

KEYWORDS

ASD, Autism, Contaminant, Neurodevelopmental, Toxin

Cite this paper

Ihde, E. , Nyirenda, T. , Jain, A. , Loh, J. , Artigas, F. , Hobble, C. , Elefante, D. , Kojak, S. , Shin, J. and Rosen, L. (2014) Mapping Contaminants Associated with Autism: A Public Health Pilot in New Jersey. Journal of Geographic Information System, 6, 706-722. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2014.66058.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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[9] NJ Department of Environmental Protection (2007) Site Remediation and Waste Management Program—Remediation Standards; Technical Requirements for Site Remediation. DEP Docket Number: 07-07-04/46 http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/050707a.pdf
[10] National Institute of Health/U.S. National Library of Medicine (2013) TOXMAP Environmental Health E-Maps. http://www.toxmap.nlm.nih.gov/toxmap/combo/navigate.do
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