Morain, Dan

Dan Morain, who worked for the Los Angeles Times for 27 years, is communications director for Consumer Attorneys of California.

Pregnant Women Living Near Freeways Face Greater Miscarriage Risk

From Protect Consumer Justice

Pregnant African-American women who live near freeways are far more likely to have miscarriages than women who don’t regularly breathe exhaust fumes, California environmental health scientists have found.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment reports that African-Americans were about three times more likely to miscarry if they lived within a half-block of a freeway or busy boulevard than if they resided near lighter traffic.

The researchers also found that women who don’t smoke but regularly inhale traffic exhaust increased their odds of miscarriage by about 50 percent, a study of nearly 5,000 pregnant women in California shows.

Dr. Joan Denton, director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which led the research, said in a statement:

“This study adds weight to the growing body of evidence that constant, heavy exposure to traffic exhaust significantly increases the risk of reproductive harm.”