The harmful effects of exposure to toxic pollutants in the air are many, and they are not merely limited to just you- it turns out, it could affect your baby too!
A team of researchers have, in their new study, found how maternal exposure to high levels of traffic air pollution could increase the risk of lung damage in the baby.
The researchers studied 620 children in Spain, all of whom were around 4 years of age. They also assessed their mother’s exposure to traffic air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, benzene etc during the second trimester of pregnancy.
They found that the risk of impaired lung function was 22 percent higher in babies born to mothers who were exposed to higher levels of benzene during pregnancy, and 30 percent higher in those born to mothers exposed to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide.
What’s more, the researchers also found that the link between lung damage and exposure to air pollution was the strongest among poorer children and those who had allergies.
Also, the evidence of a connection between air pollution exposure and lung damage was not significant during the first year of life.
“Public policies to reduce exposure to traffic-related air pollution may avoid harmful effects on lung development and function with substantial public health benefits,” the researchers said in a journal news release.
The researchers recommend pregnant women to limit their exposure to traffic related pollutants during their pregnancy period.