Fraser Basin Council
Home  |  CONTACT US: Offices AND Staff  |  Site Map

BC CLEAR Projects 2015-2016 (funding start dates) > Investigating Air Pollution as a Risk Factor for Autism: A Population-Based Analysis for BC

Investigating Air Pollution as a Risk Factor for Autism: A Population-Based Analysis for BC

posted on 7:31 PM, July 6, 2016

Project leader: Meghan Winters

This project examined the impact of air quality in BC with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This project was a population-based analysis of children diagnosed with ASD in the public health system in BC from 2004–2014, to calculate air pollutants NO2, SO2, PM2.5, and CO exposure estimates of mothers, and to test the associations between air pollutant exposure during fetal development with the development of autism. Project researchers conducted a spatial analysis of autism diagnoses overlaid with air pollution data to identify spatial patterns, observe trends over time, and visualize the association between air pollution levels and autism cases. The mean residential exposure estimates was used to calculate the odds for the development of ASD associated with NO2, SO2, PM2.5, and CO exposure during prenatal development. Lastly, the project produced interactive maps of the spatiotemporal distributions of air pollutants and autism diagnoses from 2000–2014 for Metro Vancouver.

See the project poster "Developing Spatiotemporal Air Pollution Models.

Read the final report (abstract).

See  a list of media stories (Excel) on this study.

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:


ReTooling for Climate Change:

FBC Youth:

Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351

We are grateful at the Fraser Basin Council Society to live and work on the unceded ancestral
territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.