In a recent study researchers have shown that pregnant women exposed to high levels of pollution are at risk of giving birth to babies that will later go on to develop behavioral problems! This comes as no surprise to people who are concerned about the high levels of toxins in our environment due to industrialisation!
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.
Even more concerning, the scientists, led by Dr. Frederica Perera at Columbia University, showed for the first time that expectant women exposed to higher levels of air pollution, and those with the highest levels of PAH in their blood, were more likely to have children who developed anxiety, depression and attention problems by age 6 or 7.
News Source: Healthland Time
In the trial involving 253 non smoking inner-city women who gave birth between 1999 and 2006, those with the highest levels of detectable PAH in their homes, as measured by the researchers during the mothers’ third trimester of pregnancy, were 4.5 times more likely to have children with anxiety problems that might qualify for a clinical diagnosis. Perera and her colleagues also measured levels of compounds that PAH form in the blood, to get a sense of how much of the toxin that both the mothers and their babies actually absorbed in their bodies. Women with higher levels of PAH residues in their blood at the time of delivery were 23% more likely to have children scoring higher on the anxiety and depression measures than those with lower levels, and babies who had elevated amounts of PAH in their cord blood were 46% more likely to be anxious or depressed than those with the lowest amounts. The results were similar for attention disorders measured in the children as well.