So… air pollution. We hear so much about the global warming debate, but we rarely hear about how toxins in our air may be impacting human health and happiness. This subject has been on my mind a lot over the past week, and I felt impressed to do some digging about it. How are those toxins impacting pregnant women and their babies? And how can we protect ourselves?
What I found was that prenatal and early exposure to air pollutants has been linked to a growing number of health and behavioral issues. Here are a few:
“For the first trimester, the odds of preterm birth consistently increased with increasing carbon monoxide exposures and also at high levels of exposure to particulate matter . . . . Women exposed to carbon monoxide above 0.91 ppm during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy experienced increased odds of preterm birth” (Source).
Reduced fetal growth
“Over the past decade there has been mounting evidence that ambient air pollution during pregnancy influences fetal growth. . . . We found strong effects of ambient air pollution on ultrasound measures” (Source).