The authors said a major limitation of their research is that it only looked at where the women lived when their babies were born, not where they lived or worked during their pregnancies, or whether they had long commutes in heavily polluted areas. Still, they said by using neighborhood data, they were probably more accurate in estimating the women’s exposures than past researchers have been.
Beate Ritz, an epidemiology professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health, was the study’s senior author. Her research has focused on using geographic information to map people’s exposure to pollutants and chemicals and search for links to chronic diseases such as Parkinson's and cancer.
Woodruff said many researchers are starting to use such data, which only has been available in recent years, because it can provide “reasonable estimates of what people are exposed to.”
This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.