For more than a decade, researchers have been studying the effects of air pollution on babies. Pregnant women living in urban areas or close to freeways with high levels of traffic pollution have been shown to have babies with more birth defects and underweight babies compared to women living in areas with low levels of traffic pollution.
New research from Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that breathing traffic pollution in early pregnancy is linked to a higher risk for birth defects.
Researchers studied women who resided in one of the most polluted areas in the nation — the San Joaquin Valley in California. The study was conducted in over 800 women whose pregnancies were affected by birth defects in their newborns between 1997 and 2006 compared with an equal number of healthy pregnancies in the same period. The study found an increased incidence of spina bifida; neural tube defects resulting in malformations of the brain and spine in the newborns of mothers who were exposed to high carbon monoxide during the first eight week of pregnancies, when many birth defects develop.
For those who wish to know more, here is the link to the news coverage http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/new-stanford-study-links-certain-birth-defects-tra/nW7Ck/
Check out this link as well: http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2013/march/pollution.html
Do what you can to protect to improve the environment in your community. Hopefully this will help our future offspring. Hope this helps!