When Deidre Ramos moved with her infant son to the Parker Street section of New Bedford, Mass., little did she know that her new neighborhood was toxic. Today, a decade later, Ramos is worried about her two sons growing up in a community still contaminated by an old burn dump containing polychlorinated biphenyls. “What will be the long-term effects on my children?” asked Ramos. Now new research suggests that PCBs, which were first linked to learning problems in children more than two decades ago, may play a role in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, too. Boys in New Bedford who were exposed to higher levels of PCBs in the womb scored lower on focus and concentration tests, which indicates they are more likely to have attention problems related to ADHD, according to a newly published study. All of the children studied were born to mothers who lived near the contaminated harbor and dumpsites in this low-income community but their exposures were comparable to children’s levels throughout the United States so the link to attention problems could exist in other communities, too. Read more here ‘Industrial chemicals linked to behavioural problems in Massachusetts children’.
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