Mothers’ Exposure to Air Pollutants Linked to Gene Damage in Babies

I have been saying (here and here and here) that the environmental movement needs to refocus on a simple message that can get the attention of the stressed out, over-extended American. The message I recommend is:

Pollution causes cancer.

Middle East oil supports terrorism.

The following research supports the cancer argument.

A new study of 60 newborns in New York City reveals that exposure of expectant mothers to combustion-related urban air pollution may alter the structure of babies’ chromosomes while in the womb. While previous experiments have linked such genetic alterations to an increased risk of leukemia and other cancers, much larger studies would be required to determine the precise increase in risk as these children reach adulthood.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other private foundations. The research was conducted by scientists from the Columbia University Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Study results will be published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, and are available online at

via: Mothers’ Exposure to Air Pollutants Linked to Gene Damage in Babies | Science Blog.