Millions of preterm births linked to outdoor air pollution

Thursday, 16 February 2017 12:57

This article presents new research by SEI York scientists and partners on links between preterm births and maternal exposure to outdoor air pollution. It quotes the lead author, Chris Malley.

Researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York in England have found a correlation between millions of preterm births and outdoor air pollution levels. The study found that in 2010, roughly 2.7 million, or 18 percent, of preterm births worldwide were linked to outdoor exposure to fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, which is harmful to humans.

PM2.5, particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns, comes from diesel vehicles and agricultural waste-burning, among others sources.

"This study highlights that air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly -- it may also seriously affect a baby in its mother's womb," Chris Malley, researcher in SEI's York Center and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "Preterm births associated with this exposure not only contribute to infant mortality, but can have life-long health effects in survivors. This study adds an important new consideration in measuring the health burden of air pollution and the benefits of mitigation measures." ...

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Source: UPI, Global
Language: English