Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal exposure to certain pollutants linked to behavioral problems in young children

Date:
April 12, 2011
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Mothers' exposure during pregnancy to pollutants created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and other organic material may lead to behavioral problems in their children, according to a new study. Researchers found that within a sample of 215 children monitored from birth, those children with high levels of a pollution exposure marker in their cord blood had more symptoms of attention problems and anxiety/depression at ages 5 and 7 than did children with lower exposure.

Mothers' exposure during pregnancy to pollutants created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and other organic material may lead to behavioral problems in their children, according to a new study. Researchers found that within a sample of 215 children monitored from birth, those children with high levels of a pollution exposure marker in their cord blood had more symptoms of attention problems and anxiety/depression at ages 5 and 7 than did children with lower exposure.

The study is published in Environmental Health Perspectives online April 12, 2011.

The researchers measured a biologic marker or "fingerprint" of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and other combustion-related pollutants in newborns' cord blood. When inhaled by the mother during pregnancy, these pollutants can be transferred across the placenta and bind to the DNA of the fetus, forming "adducts" in blood and other tissues and providing a biologic measure of pollutant exposure. Mothers completed a detailed assessment of their child's behavior.

In urban air, traffic emissions are a dominant source of the pollutants measured in the study. The authors accounted for other sources such as environmental tobacco smoke and diet in their analyses. None of the mothers in the study were smokers.

The study by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) and the Institute of Cancer Research in England is the first to examine the behavioral effects of prenatal exposure to these air pollutants in children using a biologic marker.

"The results are of potential concern since attention problems and anxiety and depression may affect subsequent academic performance as well as peer relationships and other aspects of societal functioning," said Dr. Frederica Perera, the study's lead author and Center Director. "Fortunately, it is possible to reduce these air pollutants through currently available pollution controls, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources."

Funding for the study was provided by NIEHS, the EPA and private foundations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Frederica P. Perera, Shuang Wang, Julia Vishnevetsky, Bingzhi Zhang, Kathleen J. Cole, Deliang Tang, Virginia Rauh, David H. Phillips. PAH/Aromatic DNA Adducts in Cord Blood and Behavior Scores in New York City Children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002705

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Prenatal exposure to certain pollutants linked to behavioral problems in young children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412101332.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2011, April 12). Prenatal exposure to certain pollutants linked to behavioral problems in young children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412101332.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Prenatal exposure to certain pollutants linked to behavioral problems in young children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412101332.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins