Air Pollution Risk Found in Pregnant Women

Source EPA

Source EPA

They found the same suspected carbon particles from the air. Dr Lisa Miyashita, another author who participated in the study and conducted the research, says air pollution has "previously been correlated with early birth and low birth weight, both of which can affect babies well after their birth". Until now, there has been very little evidence that inhaled particles get into the blood from the lung'.

The study involved five pregnant London women scheduled to have C-section deliveries. They were all non-smokers with an uncomplicated pregnancy and each one gave birth to a healthy baby.

The study has only had five pregnant women from the United Kingdom under analysis and could examine their placentas.

They all consented to give their placenta to the research team, who examined it for placental macrophages. Macrophages exist in many different parts in the body. "We additionally know that the particles assemble no longer must glean into the newborn's physique to personal an negative assemble, because in the event that they've an assemble on the placenta, this would possibly perhaps perhaps personal an instantaneous affect on the foetus". These cells are part of the immune system of the body and protect the placenta from bacteria and pollution particles. On average, each placenta contained around five square micrometres of this substance.

The scientists then studied the placental macrophages from two placentas in greater detail using an electron microscope, and again found material that they believe was made up of tiny carbon particles.

The research, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on September 16, vindicates other studies claiming that health problems due to air pollution are far beyond the lungs.

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For the first time, researchers have found evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, in placentas.

Scientists have found the first evidence that particles of air pollution travel through pregnant women's lungs and lodge in their placentas.

"We do not know whether the particles we found could also move across into the fetus, but our evidence suggests this is indeed possible", said Dr Norrice Liu, also at Queen Mary University of London and part of the team. "This overview suggests a that it is possible you'll perhaps perhaps presumably take into accounts mechanism of how babies are struggling from air pollution whereas being theoretically protected in the womb", acknowledged Prof Mina Gaga, who is ERS president and at the Athens Chest Health center in Greece. The new study shows that air pollution particles lodge in pregnant women's placentas, making it very possible that these particles can also enter the fetus.

"We need stricter policies for cleaner air to reduce the impact of pollution on health worldwide because we are already seeing a new population of young adults with health issues".

You can find out the current level of air pollution in your region by heading to the Defra website, where you can click coloured area on the map to view information. Furthermore, they suggest that such issues - especially low birth weight - can still happen at pollution levels that are lower than the EU's recommended annual limit. Or to get up-to-date alerts, follow the daily forecast tweets on Twitter. It costs a lot to produce.

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