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Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jun;120(6):921-6. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104315. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Prenatal polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure and child behavior at age 6-7 years.

Author information

  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA. fpp1@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread urban air pollutants from fossil fuel burning and other combustion sources. We previously reported that a broad spectrum of combustion-related DNA adducts in cord blood was associated with attention problems at 6-7 years of age in the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) longitudinal cohort study.

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the relationship between behavioral problems and two different measures of prenatal exposure--both specific to PAH--in the same cohort.

METHODS:

Children of nonsmoking African-American and Dominican women in New York City (NYC) were followed from in utero to 6-7 years. Prenatal PAH exposure was estimated by personal air monitoring of the mothers during pregnancy as well as by the measurement of DNA adducts specific to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a representative PAH, in maternal and cord blood. At 6-7 years of age, child behavior was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (n = 253). Generalized linear models were used to test the association between prenatal PAH exposure and behavioral outcomes.

RESULTS:

In multivariate analyses, high prenatal PAH exposure, whether characterized by personal air monitoring (greater than the median of 2.27 ng/m³) or maternal and cord adducts (detectable or higher), was positively associated with symptoms of Anxious/Depressed and Attention Problems (p ≤ 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

These results provide additional evidence that environmental levels of PAH encountered in NYC air can adversely affect child behavior.

PMID:
22440811
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3385432
Free PMC Article
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