Wednesday 5 October 2022 11:34 PM Revealed: Babies have air pollution particles in their lungs while they're ... trends now
Unborn babies have air pollution particles in their developing lungs and other vital organs as early as the first trimester, a landmark study has found.
Pollutants from traffic fumes can pass through the mother's bloodstream, into the placenta through to the baby's developing organs within the first 12 weeks.
Experts believe it could mean pregnant women living in the most polluted parts of the country are at greater risk of stillbirth and babies born with health problems.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and Hasselt University, Belgium, studied air pollution nanoparticles, called black carbon — or soot particles — to determine if they could reach the foetus.
For the first time, they discovered evidence the pollutants crossed into the developing organs including the liver, lungs, and brain.
They found dangerous nanoparticles — from exhaust fumes and fossil fuels — crossed the placenta into the foetus in the womb as early as three months into pregnancy.
The more air pollution the mothers were exposed to, the greater the level of black carbon nanoparticles found in the baby, according to the findings published in Lancet Planetary Health.
Pollutants from traffic fumes can pass through the mother's bloodstream, into the placenta through to the baby's developing organs within the first 12 weeks
Research shows that particles of pollution can reach the baby in the womb through the placenta.
The highest levels of particles were found in mothers