Are you pregnant?
Stay away from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH).
A recent study found that prenatal exposure to PAH may lead to children who suffer from behavioral problems.
Wait, polycyclic aro – what?
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. PAH can be found in other places but what’s noteworthy is the kind that comes from incomplete combustion of carbon: wood, incense, diesel, tobacco and fat.
It’s what pregnant moms should avoid.
In relation to this research, vehicle emissions were the “dominant source” of PAH moms were exposed to says EurekAlert.org.
Researchers worked with 253 expectant non-smoker moms during their pregnancy and a few years after the kids were born.
They measured PAH levels through 2 methods: personal air samples and biological markers. For the latter, the study found that moms who inhaled PAH passed it on to their unborn children through the placenta, thus allowing it to bind with the baby’s DNA.
What kind of behavioral problems do the kids in the study have?
The mothers were asked to assess their children’s behavior years after birth, at the school-age stage.
The study found that moms who had high prenatal exposure to PAH had children who suffered from anxiety, depression and attention problems.
Other health threats of PAH
Wikipedia says that prenatal PAH exposure is linked to the following in children: lower IQ, low birth-weight, heart malformations, childhood asthma, premature birth and developmental delays by age 3.
Air pollution isn’t easy to get away from especially for city folk. However, there are certain things you can do to keep PAH exposure at a minimum.
Consider using air filters at home, don’t char meats when grilling and use cleaner burning candles. If you want more solutions, read: Rodale – AirPollution’s Unhappy Side Effect.
Do you know anyone pregnant? Please share this with them. Oh and I’d love to hear your thoughts so do leave a comment below.