Center for Neurobehavioral Effects of Environmental Toxics

Scientists at the Center for Neurobehavioral Effects of Environmental Toxics research cognitive and behavioral effects of exposure to persistent toxic chemicals found in the Lake Ontario watershed region.

The centerpiece of this research institute is the Oswego Newborn and Infant Development Project, a longitudinal study of children born to women who consumed large quantities of Lake Ontario sportfish over their lifetimes. For three years all women who planned to deliver their babies in the Oswego Hospital (the only maternity hospital in the county) were invited to participate in the study.

Analysis of early data on newborns and 6- to 12-month-old babies revealed an association between Lake Ontario fish consumption and umbilical cord-blood levels of PCBs and neonatal interactive coping behavior, as well as an association between level and congener-pattern of cord-blood PCBs and infant preference for novelty. Results in this continuing longitudinal study have been published in major journals and continue to provide new insights.