Mom’s Exposure to Air Pollution Can Increase Kids’ Behavior Problems

Alice Park
Time

Pregnant women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution may be putting their children at increased risk of developing anxiety, depression and attention problems, a new study finds.

In urban areas, nearly everyone is exposed to pollution, particularly to compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — the byproduct of burning fossil fuels, tobacco and other organic material. Exposure to PAHs in car exhaust and cigarette smoke can be detected in the air and in the blood, and researchers reporting this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives say that 100% of the New York City women participating in a study of children’s environmental health had detectable levels of PAH in their homes.

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