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Air toxics and the risk of autism spectrum disorder: the results of a population based case–control study in southwestern Pennsylvania

Overview of attention for article published in Environmental Health, October 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (55th percentile)

Mentioned by

22 tweeters
6 Facebook pages


44 Dimensions

Readers on

119 Mendeley
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Air toxics and the risk of autism spectrum disorder: the results of a population based case–control study in southwestern Pennsylvania
Published in
Environmental Health, October 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12940-015-0064-1
Pubmed ID

Evelyn O. Talbott, Lynne P. Marshall, Judith R. Rager, Vincent C. Arena, Ravi K. Sharma, Shaina L. Stacy


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) constitute a major public health problem affecting one in 68 children. There is little understanding of the causes of ASD despite its serious social impact. Air pollution contains many toxicants known to have adverse effects on the fetus. We conducted a population based case-control study in southwestern Pennsylvania to estimate the association between ASD and 2005 US EPA modeled NATA (National Air Toxics Assessment) levels for 30 neurotoxicants. A total of 217 ASD cases born between 2005 and 2009 were recruited from local ASD diagnostic and treatment centers. There were two different control groups: 1) interviewed controls (N = 224) frequency matched by child's year of birth, sex and race with complete residential histories from prior to pregnancy through the child's second birthday, and 2) 5,007 controls generated from a random sample of birth certificates (BC controls) using residence at birth. We used logistic regression analysis comparing higher to first quartile of exposure to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for mother's age, education, race, smoking status, child's year of birth and sex. Comparing fourth to first quartile exposures for all births, the adjusted OR for styrene was 2.04 (95 % CI = 1.17-3.58, p = 0.013) for the interviewed case-control analysis and 1.61 (95 % CI = 1.08-2.40, p = 0.018) for the BC analysis. In the BC comparison, chromium also exhibited an elevated OR of 1.60 (95 % CI = 1.08-2.38, p = 0.020), which was similarly elevated in the interviewed analysis (OR = 1.52, 95 % CI = 0.87-2.66). There were borderline significant ORs for the BC comparison for methylene chloride (OR = 1.41, 95 % CI = 0.96-2.07, p = 0.082) and PAHs (OR = 1.44, 95 % CI = 0.98-2.11, p = 0.064). Living in areas with higher levels of styrene and chromium during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of ASD, with borderline effects for PAHs and methylene chloride. These results are consistent with other studies. It is unclear, however, whether these chemicals are risk factors themselves or if they reflect the effect of a mixture of pollutants. Future work should include improved spatiotemporal estimates of exposure to air toxics, taking into account the dynamic movement of individuals during daily life.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 22 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 119 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Israel 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 116 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 22 18%
Researcher 20 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 12%
Student > Bachelor 11 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 9%
Other 26 22%
Unknown 15 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 24 20%
Psychology 17 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 11 9%
Social Sciences 9 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 6%
Other 29 24%
Unknown 22 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 April 2016.
All research outputs
of 11,285,775 outputs
Outputs from Environmental Health
of 940 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 247,872 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Environmental Health
of 20 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,285,775 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 940 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 247,872 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 20 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.