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Study links smog exposure, birth defects

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traffic-smogWomen who are exposed to smog early in pregnancy may be at greater risk of having babies with certain types of serious birth defects.

A new study found an association between smog and two neural tube defects, a malformation of the spinal column and an under-developed brain.

The researchers report women with the highest levels of traffic-related carbon monoxide pollution in early pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a baby with those defects, compared to women with the lowest exposure.

Exposure to traffic-related nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide air pollution was also linked to increased risk.

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