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Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Coal-Burning Pollutants on Children's Development in China (2008)
Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 116, Number 5, May 2008


Environmental pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) , lead, and mercury are released by combustion of coal and other fossil fuels. A study on the Association between prenatal exposure to these pollutants and child development measured by the Gesell Developmental Schedules at 2 years of age was conducted in Tongliang, Chongqing, China, where a seasonally operated coal-fired power plant was the major source of ambient PAHs and also contributed lead and mercury to the air. In a cohort of nonsmoking women and their newborns enrolled between March 2002 and June 2002, we measured levels of PAH–DNA adducts, lead, and mercury in umbilical cord blood. PAH–DNA adducts (specifically benzo[a]pyrene adducts) provided a biologically relevant measure of PAH exposure. Study also obtained developmental quotients (DQs) in motor, adaptive, language, and social areas. The findings indicate that exposure to pollutants from the power plant adversely affected the development of children living in Tongliang ; these findings have implications for environmental health policy.


China, coal burning, lead, mercury, neurodevelopment, PAH–DNA adducts, prenatal.
Air Quality in Chinese Cities
Courtesy of VECC-SEPA

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