Polluted air crosses the placenta and alters the health of the baby

Polluted air crosses the placenta and alters the health of the baby

Scientific studies from Hasselt University demonstrated how the placenta, the newborn and children are affected by environmental contamination suffered by mothers at different times of pregnancy.

From 12 weeks of life, the soot particles that are found as air pollutants are able to pass through the placenta from the mother's side to the fetal side.

Newborn babies suffer from higher blood pressure when the mother during pregnancy was exposed to a higher concentration of air pollution.

At an early age, air pollution also influences in children, the function of the vascular wall.

Studies carried out

Following the results of the studies carried out, the consequences of air pollution on the fetus should be further investigated.

"We know that air pollution is harmful and that soot can be carcinogenic"said Dr. Nawrot, one of the researchers.

During pregnancies, air pollution is linked to premature births and lower birth weight. With this research we want to discover more about how soot particles play a role during pregnancy”He added.

It was found that the placentas studied not only transport nutrients and oxygen to the fetus, but also pollutant particles such as soot.

In the placentas of ten mothers who were exposed to a higher degree of air pollution during pregnancy "we found a higher concentration of soot particles in the placenta”Says the report.

In turn, a higher concentration of soot particles was found on the fetal side of the placenta than on the mother's side. This means that soot particles gradually accumulate on the side of the fetus.

Contamination in the final phase of pregnancy

The study of the transfer of pollutants through the placenta may help to understand the relationship between environmental pollution in mothers during their last three months of pregnancy and increased blood pressure in babies.

Madhloum compared the pressure of babies born around 3 days of age.

In babies of mothers exposed to high levels of contamination during the third trimester of pregnancy, they had "slightly higher blood pressure."

It is not yet clear what consequences this will have for children in their later lives, so the university plans to follow up on this generation of newborns.

"We know that a small increase in blood pressure of 2-3 mmHg in the general adult population increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 7 to 10% in the adult population in the long term," said the academic.

It is not yet known whether the higher blood pressure seen in the babies of mothers who suffered environmental pollution will cause a temporary change in their bodies or perhaps maintain the affected blood pressure from birth.

"For the first time we show that blood vessels can also be less elastic in 4-year-olds due to the impact of air pollution."

With information from:

Video: Air Pollution is the biggest threat to Unborn baby. Steps to control Air pollution (August 2021).