Prenatal air pollution exposures could increase neonatal intensive care unit admission rate

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, August 2019, Volume 2, #70

The rise in the number of petrol and diesel-based vehicles and non-renewable energy, materials, and products productions are examples of how humans are contributing to the harmful outdoor air pollutants concentrations. The rise in solar heat trapped in the atmosphere, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, increase the chemical reaction between some of the generated pollutants to form harmful secondary pollutants such as ozone and secondary organic aerosols.

The intake pollutants do find their way into human blood. If a pregnant woman has a lot of these pollutants in her body, the unborn child will be exposed to them in no time.  The toxic pollutants could damage or compromise the function of some of the developing cells, tissues, and organs in the unborn child. There are emerging pieces of evidence suggesting that pregnant women exposures to air pollutants could increase the probability of their babies being admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit. Healthiness level or healthy lifestyle of the exposed pregnant mother could reduce the intensity of these pollutants on the unborn child’s health.

There is no safe place for pregnant women. They could be exposed in the outdoor or indoor environments. The public health concerns highlighted in this week’s issue reiterates the need to reduce outdoor air pollution through sustainable ways of living, or at least reduce outdoor to indoor transport of these harmful pollutants.  The nonchalant attitude of some of the leaders to reduce sources of outdoor air pollution further increase the vulnerability of everyone, especially the unborn children.

70. NICU admissions_70

Do you want to know more about this topic? Read Seeni et al. (2019) paper in the Annals of Epidemiology.

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