Prenatal Pollution Exposure, Poverty Increase ADHD Risk in Children


Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD

A study from researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) showed that prenatal exposure to environmental neurotoxic and carcinogenic combustion-related air pollutants (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAH]), in addition to socioeconomic disadvantage (i.e., poverty) and its associated psychosocial stress, increase the risk of ADHD symptoms and behavior in children.

“This is the first report of the effects of co-exposure to high prenatal exposure to PAH and chronic socioeconomic stress on children’s ADHD symptoms,” according to study investigators from Columbia University. “Findings indicate that high prenatal PAH exposure combined with persistent hardship or high prenatal PAH combined with any hardship significantly…

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