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Pollutants in Boys' Blood Tied to Lower Growth

Boys exposed to high levels of environmental pollutants tend to be smaller than their peers, according to a new study. Researchers followed nearly 500 boys for three years, and found that those with the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their blood were more than an inch shorter.

There was a similar pattern observed in boys with the highest exposure to the pollutant dioxin.

According to Reuters:

"PCBs were once used in everything from appliances and fluorescent lighting to insulation and insecticides. While the chemicals were banned in the 1970s as potential health hazards, they remain a public-health concern because they linger in the environment and accumulate in the fat of fish, mammals and birds ... Dioxins are toxic substances formed by burning ... and in some industrial processes."

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