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Water contaminated with lithium throughout pregnancy may raise the likelihood of autism


As per a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, drinking tap water contaminated with lithium during pregnancy may raise the risk of developing autism in the newborn.

An Outline

According to a study published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, compared to the lowest recorded lithium concentrations, those in the 25th percentile and second and third quartiles were linked to a 24-26 % increase in autism risk.

The researchers cross-checked lithium levels in Danish public waterworks with extensive civil data on pregnancy and psychiatric disorders. The authors discovered that the risk was 46% higher for groups in the highest quartile than for levels in the lowest quartile.

Senior author Beate Ritz, a neurology professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, stated, “Any drinking water contaminants may affect the developing human brain and bring intense scrutiny.”

End Note

Ritz acknowledged the significance of replicating the study in other populations worldwide while highlighting the high quality of their data.

It is especially crucial given the increasing prevalence of lithium batteries as critical components in electric vehicles, energy storage systems, toys, and electronics.

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