"Children exposed to prenatal or in-utero air pollution from traffic oftentimes have lower birth weights, somewhat smaller head circumferences, and a number of adverse outcomes," he noted. "There's certainly enough there to suggest an effect. And I think any one of those outcomes -- if they happen early enough in life -- can affect development through childhood and exert an impact on intelligence," Jerrett said.
"Of course you can't rule out other factors -- the school environment, the home environment, even the neighborhood environment -- that might affect IQ," Jerrett cautioned. "But certainly it is important for us to investigate this, and see what further study reveals."
For more on PAH exposure, visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
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