Kids have an increased risk of developing attention problems if their mothers inhaled a lot of one particular type of air pollution during pregnancy, a study finds


In a new study published November 5 in the journal PLOS ONE, Frederica Perera and her Columbia University team found that non-smoking pregnant women having high levels of pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs risk having 5x as many children with ADHD. The biggest sources of these PAHs: the burning of fossil fuels, wood trash and cigarette smoke.

According to Dr. Harold Levinson, this very unique and important study is one of the first to show that a specific air pollutant inhaled by pregnant mothers may negatively impact fetuses, thus increasing the risk of ADHD. It may also help explain studies suggesting that smoking during pregnancy has fetal risks.

About Dr. Harold Levinson
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or visit:

Image courtesy of Niptphand

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