Science

Preterm Births Linked To Air Pollution

By Rodney Rafols , Feb 17, 2017 12:44 AM EST
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Premature births in humans are quite common. However, recently the number of preterm births has increased in number. A study finds that preterm births are linked to air pollution.

The study has found that as much as 2.7 million preterm births might be associated with air pollution. A team of researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) from the University of York has made the study. This is mostly due to exposure to outdoor fine particle matter.

The new study has combined the data of air pollution found in different countries with that of exposure to different types of air pollution could produce preterm births. Chris Malley is the lead author of the study and a researcher from SEI. He has said that air pollution not only affects people who live with air pollution, but it could affect the unborn child as well.

Infant mortality is high with preterm babies affected by air pollution. Babies that are affected by it could also have health issues that might affect them for life. This could also add to health care costs later in life.

The main contributor to the effect is fine particle matter. Much of this is coming from South Asia and East Asia. India produces most of this, with an estimated one million of the total 2.7 million. China is second with 500,000, according to the University of York's site.

Malley has said that the estimates may vary, as the studies have been based mainly from the US and Europe. Risk factors associated with air pollution can also vary. Pregnant women could also be affected by indoor air pollution coming from dust and smoke from cooking.

Controlling fine particle matter emission is the key to reducing premature births, as said by study co-author Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna. Emissions from vehicles, burning and even cooking with biomass fuels are some of those cited that contribute to fine particle matter. The sources usually come from cities, as Science Daily reports.

Controlling air pollution is key to preventing premature pregnancies. Preterm births are linked to air pollution. A study also notes that men can also be affected by depression if their partners are pregnant.

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