We know living near a freeway is bad for all manner of lung diseases — asthma, bronchitis, emphysema — and even heart disease. This study builds on 2010 research that also found an association between living near a freeway and autism.

Researchers have found that exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy is associated with autism, according to a new study released on Monday. The study, published online in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found evidence that pollution may affect the developing brain among children whose mothers lived in areas where there was poor air quality.

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Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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