TIMES SAYS : POLLUTION EFFECTS BABIES IN THE WOMB

 In What others are saying

Scientists have uncovered the most vivid evidence yet that air pollution affects children while they are still in the womb.

Researchers found dangerous particles of black carbon in the placentas of nearly 30 pregnant women. The dirtier the air that the women had breathed while carrying their child, the more sooty, ultra-fine carbon particles were found.

Black carbon, which is produced when fossil fuels are burnt, has been linked to pregnancy problems, including low birth weights and premature births.

However, the biological mechanisms involved are not yet understood. Some theories suggest that black carbon causes inflammation of the uterus. Others speculate that the particles could be transmitted to the foetus itself.

In a study published today a team led by Dr Hannelore Bové of Hasselt University in Belgium write: “Our finding that black carbon particles accumulate on the foetal side of the placenta suggests that ambient particulates could be transported towards the foetus and represents a potential mechanism explaining the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards.”

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