Monday, July 06, 2009

Air pollution and prematurity

A new study from the University of California has confirmed an association between pollution levels and prematurity and other birth complications. From a Discovery News article L.A. Traffic Causing Premature Births: Study:

As famous for its traffic jams as it is for Hollywood star power, the Los Angeles, Calif. area has another dirty little secret: Air pollution is sickening pregnant women who live near roadways, more than doubling their risk of a premature birth, according to a new study....

A comparison of medical records from 81,186 single child births to air pollution levels in the area revealed that high pollution exposure raised the risk of a severely premature birth by 128 percent. Moms-to-be were also between 33 and 42 percent more likely to develop preeclampsia, an affliction characterized by high blood pressure that often forces doctors to induce premature birth in order to save mothers' lives.

The team's study is in due to be published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

5 comments:

  1. Wow, I am glad I live in a small town in the mountains, away from all the smog.

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  2. Makes sense. If smoking has been linked to prematurity and low birth weights, so would air pollution. My guess is opening up your windows and breathing in LA air every day, is equivalent to smoking.

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  3. California also has the highest rates of autism in the country and interestingly enough, my autistic daughter was my only child who spent her whole infancy in Southern Cali. The rest lived elsewhere for much of their development.

    I don't doubt that the pollution in California makes the babies and children more prone to health problems.

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  4. Soil is a sort of ecosystem unto itself, and it is relatively sensitive to foreign matter being applied to it. That’s good for us in the case of wanting to add soil amendments, fertilizer and compost to make the soil healthier, but not so good when it comes to soil pollution.

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  5. Some midwives have commented that they see a connection to pollution levels and pre-eclampsia. They say that among their clients who follow excellent diets they see no pre-eclampsia except for those living in polluted areas.

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