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    Study Links Air Pollution and Infant Genetic Mutations

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers have found a connection between mothers being exposed to toxic air pollution and their babies being born with compromised neurological development.

    Researchers have found a connection between mothers being exposed to toxic air pollution and their babies being born with compromised neurological development.

    For the study, which was conducted by scientists from Columbia University and Chongqing Medical University, mothers and children who lived near a now defunct coal-fired power plant in China were examined.

    The plant at one time released toxins into the environment at a rate that is 8 times greater than the US limit.

    The first group studied was comprised of non-smoking women and the children they conceived in 2002 while the facility was still active.

    Those who became pregnant and gave birth after the shutdown were examined separately in 2005 after the facility was shut down in 2004.

    Both groups of children were tested at age 2 for neurological development, and sadly, those that were born during the time the plant was operable showed markedly diminished learning and memory abilities.

    Also unique to that group was the absence of a protein associated with brain development in the blood taken from their umbilical cords.

    Said the study’s lead author, “I wasn’t anticipating such a clear difference when we compared the first and second cohorts, and this shows how much of an impact effective policies can have on local populations.”