Prenatal exposure to metals and autism spectrum disorder: Current status and future directions

Kyle A. Campbell, Ruby Hickman, Margaret Daniele Fallin, Kelly M. Bakulski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with genetic and environmental contributors to etiology. Many metals have the potential to be neurotoxic, and their exposures are widespread. The field of metals exposure and ASD research is emerging, and in this review article, we assess the current state of the literature, with emphasis on the previous 2 years. Epidemiology studies are discussed with respect to exposure timing, exposure matrix, and outcome assessment. Toxicology studies are described for exposure dosing and timing, as well as behavioral and molecular outcomes. Further epidemiological and toxicological investigations can identify the timing and importance of metals as ASD risk factors and uncover biological mechanisms for risk mitigation and therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Toxicology
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Chemical exposure
  • Metals
  • Neurodevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prenatal exposure to metals and autism spectrum disorder: Current status and future directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this