Severe air pollution may lead to birth defects and fatalities during pregnancy, Study

May 31, 2019 4:26 PM |

Pollution may lead to birth defects

A recent study has found out that exposure to severe air pollution may result in birth defects and some fatalities during pregnancy.

According to WHO, 9 out of 10 people on this planet get exposed to high pollutant levels, while the reason for one out of every nine deaths worldwide can be attributed to exposure to bad air quality, totaling over 7 million premature deaths in a year.

According to a research, published in the journal proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, bad air quality can decrease fetal survival rates as well as also shorten gestation rates. This could affect body weight and result into brain and heart damage.

The researchers examined the adverse health effects due to exposure to fine particulate matter consisting of ammonium sulfate on female rats. This particulate matter is found in several locations around the world.

According to researchers,“In countries like India and China, during winters, severe haze occurs frequently. Thus, particulate matter levels go high, such as as to several hundred micrograms per cubic meter.”

According to Renyi Zhang, Professor at Texas A&M University in the US, “People generally assume that ammonium sulfate may not be very toxic, however our experiment shows adverse impact upon female pregnant rats.”

Sulfate is generated through coal burning. It is also a major energy source, particularly for developing countries like India. Ammonium is produced from ammonia, which generates as a result of agricultural, automobile and animal emissions.

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