Prenatal Pollution Affects Kids' IQ

07.21.09 New study finds inhaling smog on a daily basis could have harmful effects on baby's brain development.


Researchers in New York are issuing a new warning that smog lowers kids' IQs, even before they're born, The Associated Press reports.

The 5-year-old children of mothers who regularly breathed in car- and truck-polluted air when they were pregnant scored an average of four to five points lower on IQ tests than kids with less exposure, a study from the Columbia Center for Environmental Health in New York. The findings, published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, are the first to establish such a link.

There's no better time than pregnancy to think about creating a healthier environment for you and your growing baby. Even little changes in your home, behavior and diet will go a long way toward protecting your growing family. For example, did you know that eating foods with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids will help your baby's brain development? (It does.) Or how about the health benefits of chocolate for your little one? For better or worse, prenatal nutrition and environment affect your baby well into adulthood.

There's so much out there to help your baby while you help the environment. Check out the resources in our one-stop Going Green section for making your pregnancy a greener, more eco-conscious experience.

Remember the words of the 1970s public service ad campaign with Woodsy Owl: Give a hoot, don't pollute—for your kids' sake.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.