Research identifies long-term effects of prenatal exposure to air pollution

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The effects urban air pollutants can have on people's health is well-documented, but a new study shows exposure to air pollutants as early as the prenatal stage can have lasting consequences. The study is published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and New York State Psychiatric Institute examined a cohort of children born to nonsmoking minority women in New York City.

The found exposure to pollutants such as tobacco smoke, combustion sources and emissions from cars, oil, and coal burning for home heating and power generation, was associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, inattention and behavioral disorders in children.

Lead investigator Amy Margolis, PhD, also notes long-term deficits in self-regulation, which could predispose children to becoming engaged in high-risk adolescent behaviors, including substance abuse and easting disorders.

 

 

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