“Air pollution leads to a whopping 16,000 premature births every year and costs the nation billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity, according to a study published Tuesday in Environmental Health Perspectives. This is the first study to estimate the number of preterm births due to air pollution, adding to a growing body of evidence linking air pollution to myriad health problems, from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses to endocrine disruption and dementia.
Air pollution generates inflammation that disrupts blood vessels in the heart, lungs, and other organs, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. While the details of how air pollution affects the fetus are not completely understood, researchers believe that inflammation of the blood vessels in the placenta impedes the flow of oxygen to the fetus, ultimately increasing the likelihood of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, generally defined as at least three weeks before the due date, are at increased risk of infant mortality, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, lower IQ, and other health implications.” Mother Jones. Read the full article and link to the report on delhiair.org.