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