Pollution in Utero

Babies' prenatal exposures boost behavioral risks

Pregnancy is an important time for both mom and baby, which is why moms-to-be take special care to live right so their children are born healthy. That's relatively easy when it comes to things women can control, like avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking and eating well. But what about pollution in the air they breathe?

In the first study of its kind, researchers report that expectant mothers' exposure to pollutants--specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are contained in car exhaust and cigarette smoke--can lead to a fourfold increase in the risk of anxiety problems in their children at age 6. The scientists...

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