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Harmful Effect Of Air Pollution On Pregnancy

978 words - 4 pages

The Effects of Air Pollution on Pregnancy
Air pollution can be undoubtedly harmful to pregnancy. Substances such as carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, benzene, emissions from solid biomass, and nitroarenes all contribute to air pollution. Studies done in North Carolina, California, and East India all conclude the same thing; air pollutants do affect the health of babies during pregnancy. The most severe affects from these toxins include cancer, short-and-long-term morbidity, and stillbirth. Still damaging, yet less traumatizing effects include low birth weight, small for gestational age, and preterm birth. PM2.5 is particulate matter in the air. One study shows it reduces birth ...view middle of the document...

All studies have a general conclusion; fuel emissions and particulate have a negative effect on pregnancy. A study over PM2.5 and O3 shows that 7.3% were low birth weight, 10.2% were small for gestational age, and 9.8% were preterm births (Gray, 2013). The study was done to women that lived in suburban areas and encountered vehicle fumes every day. While being exposed to moderate, steady amounts of CO during pregnancy, a positive correlation was made between exposure and children with cancer at an odds ratio of 5.6 while 83% of the births occurred in urban areas (Heck, 2013). A test was done in South Korea to determine how exposure to PM and NO2 affected the development skills of the children at 6, 12, and 24 months of age. More specifically it measured effects on the central nervous system, cardiovascular, and pulmonary system. Air quality monitor stations measured the air pollution daily at where they lived and a neurodevelopment test was done to see how they were maturing. PM and NO2 had significant adverse effects on the children’s psychomotor developmental index and mental development index at 6 months of age (Kim, 2014). The cause of low birth weight, small for gestational age, and preterm birth are from the pollutants acting on the placenta functions and hormones. During the last trimester of pregnancy is when PM starts damaging the mitochondrial DNA. There was less measured mtDNA when the mother was exposed to PM late in pregnancy. Exposure during the first trimester leads to less DNA methylation. Another reason for these birth defects is the effect is has on blood transfer to the fetus. Preterm birth happens because particulate matter causes swelling of the placenta, which causes contractions & labor. Not many alternatives are available except for the obvious. The less the population drives, the less air pollution there is. Also, the more fuel efficient cars release less particulate matter...

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