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Environmental Pollution
Air pollution takes a double toll on babies' brains
Air pollution takes a double toll on babies' brains

A common pollutant in vehicle exhaust, power plant emissions and cigarette smoke can shrink white matter in fetal brains and cause developmental damage during the toddler years, a new study suggests. In 40 children examined by researchers, prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was correlated with reduced white matter on the left side of children's brains during their early childhood. Those physical changes in the brain's internal wiring also were correlated with slower cognitive processing and with symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity, according to the study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. “They tend to be fidgety and...

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