SOOTY air pollution in towns and cities increases the chance of women giving birth to small
babies, research has shown.
SOOTY air pollution in towns and cities increases the chance of women giving birth to small babies, research has shown.
A study involving millions of births around the world found that higher pollution levels raised the risk of low birth weight.
Newborns are underweight if they weigh less than 2.5kg, or 5lb 8oz. They face an increased risk of dying in infancy, as well as chronic poor health and impaired mental development.
The study, the largest of its kind, focused on tiny carbon particles called PM10s and even smaller PM2.5s, which are known to be linked to heart and lung problems. They originate from sources such as diesel exhausts and the chimneys of coal-fired power stations.
Professor Tanja Pless-Mulloli, who led the UK arm of the study at the University of Newcastle, said: “As air pollution increases we can see that more babies are smaller at birth, which in turn puts them at risk of poor health later in life.”