Background: Exposure to ambient noise and air pollution may affect the manifestation and severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, evidence is limited, and most studies solely assessed environmental exposures during pregnancy and early childhood. Objective: To examine the longitudinal effects of ambient noise and air pollutants on ASD and ADHD symptom severity during adolescence and early adulthood. Methods: Using a longitudinal design, we included 2750 children between 10 and 12 years old from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) in the Netherlands, who were assessed in 6 waves from 2001 to 2017. ASD was measured by the Children's Social Behavior Questionnaire and the Adult Social Behavior Questionnaire. ADHD was measured by Child Behavior Checklist and the Adult Behavior Checklist. Ambient noise and air pollution exposures, including Ozone (O3), soot, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), and PM10 were modeled at the residential level according to standardized protocols. The longitudinal associations between exposures and symptom outcomes were examined using linear mixed models. Results: We found evidence that higher levels of exposure to PM were associated with more severe ASD and ADHD symptoms. This association decreased over time. We did not observe any other consistent associations of noise or other air pollutants with ASD and ADHD severity. Conclusion: The current study provides evidence for the negative impact of PM on ASD and ADHD symptoms. We did not find evidence of the negative health impact of other air pollutants and noise exposures on ASD or ADHD symptoms. Our study adds more evidence on the presence of associations between PM air pollution and neurodevelopmental diseases among adolescents and young adults.
- Air pollution
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Longitudinal study
- Particulate matter