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Study Finds Air Pollution Increases Health Risk For Unborn Children; UNICEF Says 17M Babies Live In Areas With High Rates Of Air Pollution

The Guardian: Air pollution harm to unborn babies may be global health catastrophe, warn doctors
“Air pollution significantly increases the risk of low birth weight in babies, leading to lifelong damage to health, according to a large new study. The research was conducted in London, U.K., but its implications for many millions of women in cities around the world with far worse air pollution are ‘something approaching a public health catastrophe’, the doctors involved said…” (Carrington, 12/5).

New York Times: Air Pollution May Harm Babies Even Before They Are Born
“…Researchers in London calculated mothers’ exposure to air pollution and traffic noise in various parts of the city from 2006 to 2010. Then they amassed data on birth weights of 540,365 babies born during those years to women who lived in those areas. The average pollution exposure was 14 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5, the tiny particles that easily enter the smallest airways in the lungs. The researchers found that for each 5 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM 2.5, the risk of low birth weight increased by 15 percent…” (Bakalar, 12/5).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Toxic air puts 17 million babies’ brains and lungs at risk – UNICEF
“About 17 million babies worldwide live in areas where outdoor air pollution is six times the recommended limit, and their brain development is at risk, the U.N. children’s agency (UNICEF) said on Wednesday…” (12/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.