Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The research is detailed in a study being published Tuesday, May 21, in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed open access journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The research was conducted by faculty members from the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Environmental Health in collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s. Nicholas Newman, DO, director of the Pediatric Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s, was the study’s first author.
“There is increasing concern about the potential effects of traffic-related air pollution on the developing brain,” Newman says. “This impact is not fully understood due to limited epidemiological studies.
“To our knowledge, this is the largest prospective cohort with the longest follow-up investigating early life exposure to traffic-related air pollution and neurobehavioral outcomes at school age.” Scientists believe that early life exposures to a variety of toxic substances are important in the development of problems later in life.