Air pollution is a looming, ever-growing threat to our bodies - from our lungs, to our skin and wombs too, everything gets infected with the toxins in the air.
Still, it sounds a little baffling when you think of just how much pollution can destroy our health and well-being. New research in Beijing, China, has shown a link between air pollution and an increased risk of miscarriages, reported The New York Times.
The study published in the journal Nature Sustainability looked at over 25,000 women from 2009 to 2017 and four types of air pollutants inside and outside homes: PM2.5, sulfur dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide.Holding for other factors like age, the research found that their sample size of women were all exposed to air pollutants during their pregnancy.
The researchers focused on the rate of ''missed abortions,” also called silent or missed miscarriages that occur in the first trimester in up to 15 percent of pregnancies.
These are especially traumatic as they happen when the fetus has died already but there are no signs of a typical miscarriage - so parents assume the pregnancy is progressing normally. They find out days or even weeks later.
Air Pollution and Pregnancy: An Adverse Relationship
While Mr Zhang, lead author of the study told The New York Times that more research was needed to pin-point the exact link between the two factors, there has been growing evidence to suggest a scary link between air pollution and wombs, pregnant woman and their fetuses.
“There has been a lot of evidence suggesting a link between air pollution and pregnancy outcomes in general, particularly the risk of a premature birth and a low weight baby.”Tom Clemens, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh told The New York Times
He added, “This is one of the first studies to link particle pollution to this particular outcome of pregnancy so in that sense it’s very important.”
Additionally, the research paper pointed to a clearer link between the two, as it noted that since 2013 the risk of missed miscarriages declined at the same time with a decrease in air pollution.