Prenatal Exposure to air pollution reduces child's IQ
NIEHS-funded researchers at the Columbia University Center for Children's Environmental Health found that a mother's exposure to urban air pollutants while she is pregnant can result in a lower intelligence quotient, or IQ, in the child she is carrying. The study examined effects of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, released into the air from burning coal, diesel, oil, and gas. Researchers studied women in the New York City area and found that children of these women, who were exposed to high levels of PAHs in utero, have an IQ that is, on average, four points lower. That difference could be important in terms of success in school for affected children.
Air pollution increases risk of lung cancer, heart disease
NIEHS-funded researchers demonstrated that years of exposure to high concentrations of tiny particles of soot and dust from cars, power plants, and factories can increase a person's risk of dying from lung cancer and heart disease to a level that is comparable to the risk associated with prolonged exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
NIEHS Initiates monitoring, advising effort of World Trade Center cleanup crews
NIEHS-supported grantees in and around New York City joined forces to monitor exposures and advise cleanup crews and residents exposed to hazardous working and living conditions resulting from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Air-monitoring stations were established, and many research studies initiated to assess possibly adverse health effects. Grantees from the NIEHS Worker Education and Safety Program were on-site to provide advice and assistance for protecting the health of the cleanup crews immediately following the collapse of the buildings and while the cleanup continued.
Particulate matter tied to cardiovascular and respiratory deaths
NIEHS-supported researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health announced their research, finding a strong correlation between exposure to particulate matter air pollution and death from all causes, including cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. These analyses strengthen the argument for maintaining air quality standards for particulate matter.
Particulate exposure linked to increased respiratory problems and risk of early death
Researchers discovered a strong association between exposure to fine particles, sulfur dioxide, and acid aerosols, and an increase in respiratory symptoms, reduced lung capacity, and risk of early death.