January 12, 2018 – Infants and Air Pollution
Anchor lead: Air pollution exposure affects unborn infants, Elizabeth Tracey reports
If you’re pregnant and exposed to a lot of air pollution from road traffic, your baby may be born smaller than babies born to mothers without such exposure, a study in the BMJ found. Corinne Keet, an asthma and allergy expert at Johns Hopkins and air pollution researcher, describes the findings.
Keet: They looked at full term infants and looked at the pollution they were exposed to during pregnancy and saw that there was a relationship between exposure to pollution particularly to particulate matter pollution which is a product of combustion of fuels, that exposure to pollution was associated with lower birth weight. And that’s important because we know that low birth weight is a predictor of many other bad things in childhood. I think this is just another reason why we should pay attention to air pollution. :30
Consequences of low birth weight can include developmental delays, growth problems, increased risk for infectious diseases and death during infancy and childhood. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.