Cars are lined up in traffic on Airline Drive in Houston, Texas, on April 13th, 2020. | Photo by MARK FELIX / AFP via Getty Images
Traffic jams are linked to lower birth weights, new research finds. Pregnant people in the most congested neighborhoods gave birth to babies who weighed less than babies in less congested areas, according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances.
A baby with low birth weight faces a greater risk of health complications — from infection to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The new study adds to the body of evidence showing that clearing up pollution from cars and trucks will help babies stay healthier. It shows that it’s not just the volume of traffic that affects air quality and health outcomes — the flow of that traffic matters, too.