Diesel exhaust constituent PAH damages babies’ brains

Children born and raised near inner-city pollution sources can wind up with reduced white matter in their brains and greater developmental and behavioral problems, a study suggests. Above, a Long Beach school near an oil refinery, freeway, railroad line and seaport. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

The bad news about air pollution just keeps coming.  New research shows polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, damage children’s brains, which causes developmental, cognitive, and behavioral problems.   PAH’s have many sources in the urban environment,including diesel exhaust.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, are a group of organic compounds composed of fused benzene rings. PAHs occur naturally in crude oil, coal, and tar, and are produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass (wood, grass, tobacco). They are widely distributed in the environment and are of concern because they are toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and several are probable human carcinogens. (Source: USGS)

Read about the research in this excellent Los Angeles Times article:
Air pollution takes a double toll on babies’ brains