06 Jun '12, 9am

Stress + pollution = health risks for low-income kids

Stress + pollution = health risks for low-income kids

It’s long been known that children in poorer neighborhoods like one in Worcester, Mass., are more likely to be exposed to lead, vehicle exhaust and other pollution. Now, scientists are beginning to suspect that these low-income children aren’t just more exposed – they actually may be more biologically susceptible to contaminants, even at low levels. A growing body of research suggests that the chronic stressors of poverty may fundamentally alter the way the body reacts to pollutants, especially in young children. "It’s like having the fight or flight response turned on all the time," said Harvard epidemiologist Rosalind Wright. Facing financial strain, racial tension and high crime rates can wear down immunity and disrupt hormones, making kids more vulnerable to everything around them, including the lead in their yards and the car exhaust in their neighborhood. Part 3 of P...

Full article: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/poll...

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