By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
New York Times
April 8, 2013
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press
Exposure in the first two months of pregnancy to air pollution from traffic sharply increases the risk for birth defects, a new study has found.
Researchers used data from two large studies carried out in eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley in California. One has tracked birth defects since 1997, and the other has recorded concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter at 20 locations in the valley since the 1970s. The results are posted online in The American Journal of Epidemiology.
They found that a mother living in areas with the highest levels of carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide concentrations (the top 25 percent) was almost twice as likely to give birth to a child with neural tube defects — severe and often fatal defects of the brain and spinal cord— as one living in areas with the lowest concentrations.
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Bike Delaware Note: Delaware’s first-ever use of federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds for a cycling project was in 2011.