Link Between Air Pollution And Stillbirth Strengthened By New Study

Exposure to ambient air pollution may place pregnant women at an increased risk of having a stillbirth, according to the findings of a new study that provides further evidence about the potential health impact of common pollutants. 

In a study published last week in the medical journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, researchers from Finland concluded that exposure to ambient air pollution, in particular exposure to small particulate matter, increased a woman’s chance of having a stillbirth by two percent.

While the size of the effect may seem small, the researchers note that the ubiquitous nature of ambient air pollution in the environment and the constant exposure many pregnant women face, suggests that air pollution may have a significant impact on stillbirth rates among the greater population.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of data from 13 studies that focused on air pollution and stillbirths. They searched three databases, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science from time of inception to mid-April 2015.

The findings indicate an association between air pollution and stillbirths, particularly when the exposure occurred during third trimester of pregnancy. A 4 microgram increase in exposure to small particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers diameter (PM 2.5) was associated with a two percent increased risk of stillbirth.

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter 10 micrometers in diameter and ozone were also linked to heightened risk of suffering a stillbirth. Among women who had stillbirths the levels of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter, and ozone were the highest for the third trimester exposure.

Another study published earlier this year concluded prenatal exposure to air pollution may affect a child’s ability to get along with others and control their emotions or impulses. Exposure levels common in many countries around the world, may have lasting effects on children, according to the findings. Another study linked air pollution exposure, even for short periods, to increased risk of stroke.

Critics say the findings of the new study are suggestive evidence that air pollution is linked to an increased risk of stillbirth; however most of the existing evidence relies on air monitoring data, which doesn’t adequately capture variations in levels within the same city.

Another study published in the American Journal of Public Health revealed minority families may be more likely to live in the path of harmful air pollution. The study supported the long-standing environmental justice assumptions that big polluters specifically target minority populations, placing them at higher risk for health problems.

An estimated 2.6 million children worldwide were stillborn at 28 weeks or more in 2015, and health experts say most of the deaths were preventable.

“The body of evidence suggests that exposure to ambient air pollution increases the risk of stillbirth,” wrote study authors. “Further studies are needed to strengthen the evidence.”


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal
BioZorb Lawsuit Alleges Breast Tissue Marker Failed, Requiring Surgical Removal (Posted 2 days ago)

A BioZorb lawsuit has been filed by several breast cancer survivors after the BioZorb implants moved out of place and failed to dissolve int he body, requiring surgical removal.

Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October
Fairness Hearing For Philips CPAP Recall Medical Monitoring Settlement Set for October (Posted 2 days ago)

A U.S. District Court judge has scheduled a fairness hearing for October in order to determine whether final approval should be granted to a $25 million Philips CPAP recall settlement agreement, which would pay former users $25 million to pay for future medical monitoring needs.