Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In utero exposure to urban air pollutants can increase risk

26.04.2006


Prenatal exposure to air pollutants in New York City can adversely affect child development, according to the results of a study released today by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Previous studies have shown that the same air pollutants can reduce fetal growth (both weight and head circumference at birth), but this study, which examined a group of the same children at three years of age, is the first to reveal that those pollutants can also affect cognitive development during childhood.



The study will be published online Monday, April 24, 2006, and can be accessed at the following URL: http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2006/9084/abstract.html.

Investigators at the Center studied a sample of 183 three-year-old children of non-smoking African-American and Dominican women residing in the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Central Harlem, and the South Bronx. They found that exposure during pregnancy to combustion-related urban air pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were linked to significantly lower scores on mental development tests and more than double the risk of developmental delay at age three. Such delay in cognitive development is indicative of greater risk for performance deficits in language, reading, and math in the early school years.


In the study, the mothers’ exposure during pregnancy to varying levels of airborne PAHs was measured by personal air monitoring. PAHs enter the environment when combustion occurs – such as from car, truck, or bus engines, residential heating, power generation, or tobacco smoking. Following inhalation by the mother, the pollutants can be transferred across the placenta to reach the fetus. Children were tested at age three using a standardized test of mental and psychomotor development.

The study is part of a broader multi-year research project. "The Mothers and Children Study in New York City," started in 1998, which examines the health effects of exposure of pregnant women and babies to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, pesticides, and allergens.

"These findings are of concern, because compromised mental performance in the preschool years is an important precursor of subsequent educational performance deficits," said Dr. Frederica Perera, DrPH director of the Center and lead investigator. "Fortunately, airborne PAH concentrations can be reduced by currently available pollution controls, greater energy efficiency, and the use of alternative energy sources."

"Identifying and attending to developmental delays in the preschool years is likely to be cost-effective and improve cognitive development," said Dr. Virginia Rauh, ScD, co-investigator and co-author of the study, "since the skills children bring with them to school not only affect educational outcomes but also determine how schools must spend their resources."

In this study, the children who were exposed in the womb to the highest levels of PAHs scored on average 5.7 points (6.3%) lower on cognitive tests than the less exposed children; and their risk of being developmentally delayed was 2.9-times greater than that of children who had lower prenatal exposure; both results were statistically significant.

The investigators controlled for other exposures that might have contributed to developmental problems such as socioeconomic factors, exposure to tobacco smoke, lead, and other environmental contaminants.

Randee Sacks Levine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu
http://www.ccceh.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>