Women who are exposed to air pollution during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children who tend to develop behavioral problems around 6-7 years of age.
Researchers tested the women's blood and personal air samples to look for powerful airborne pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). The study revealed that children exposed to PAH while in the womb were more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Lead author Frederica Perera said, "This study provides evidence that environmental levels of PAH encountered in NYC air can adversely affect child behavior. The results are of concern because attention problems and anxiety and depression have been shown to affect peer relationships and academic performance."