Vehicle pollution threat to unborn
Pregnant women are more likely to suffer a miscarriage if they breathe in high levels of air pollution, a study suggests.
Researchers in the US found a 16 per cent increase in the risk of miscarriage among women exposed to raised levels of nitrogen dioxide, a gas created by petrol and diesel vehicles.
The warning comes amid heightened concern over air pollution’s potential links to a growing list of diseases and conditions including stroke, dementia and autism.
The research saw doctors analyse the records of 1300 women who sought help at Utah University’ s emergency department following miscarriage between 2007 to 2015.
The team found a higher risk of miscarriage for women within seven days of a spike in the levels of air pollutants including small particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.
The particulate matter did not appear to raise the risk of miscarriage but the nitrogen dioxide did.
The findings were described as “upsetting” by professor Matthew Fuller, who led the study at the university.
He added: “We need to work together as a society to find constructive solutions.”
Fuller said pregnant women can manage their risk by trying to avoid outdoor physical activity on poor air quality days.
DANGER Traffic fumes