Ambient air pollution and low birthweight: a European cohort study (ESCAPE) (1 page pdf, Abstract, Dr Marie Pedersen, Lise Giorgis-Allemand, Claire Bernard, Inmaculada Aguilera, Prof Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Prof Ferran Ballester, Rob M J Beelen, Leda Chatzi, Marta Cirach, Asta Danileviciute, Audrius Dedele, Manon van Eijsden, Marisa Estarlich, Ana Fernández-Somoano, Mariana F Fernández, Prof Francesco Forastiere, Ulrike Gehring, Prof Regina Grazuleviciene, Olena Gruzieva, Barbara Heude, Gerard Hoek, Kees de Hoogh, Edith H van den Hooven, Siri E Håberg, Vincent W V Jaddoe, Claudia Klümper, Michal Korek, Ursula Krämer, Aitana Lerchundi, Johanna Lepeule, Prof Per Nafstad, Wenche Nystad, Evridiki Patelarou, Daniela Porta, Prof Dirkje Postma, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Peter Rudnai, Prof Jordi Sunyer, Prof Euripides Stephanou, Mette Sørensen, Elisabeth Thiering, Prof Derek Tuffnell, Mihály J Varró, Tanja G M Vrijkotte, Alet Wijga, Michael Wilhelm, John Wright, Prof Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, Prof Göran Pershagen, Prof Bert Brunekreefi, Prof Manolis Kogevinas, Rémy Slama, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Oct. 15, 2013)
Also discussed here: Urban air pollution increases low birth weight risk (Ilaria Bertini, Blue & Green Tomorrow, Oct. 15, 2013)
Today we review research into the link between exposure of pregnant women in 12 European countries over 7 years to particulate matter and the impact on their babies. The conclusions were that for every increase of 5 μg/m3, the risk of low birth weight increase by 18%. A similar conclusion was reached for women living near roads with heavy traffic where if action is taken to reduce this exposure, 22% of low birth weights could be avoided.
“for every increase of 5 micrograms per cubic metre in exposure to fine particulate matter – found in industrial pollutants and traffic fumes for instance – the risk of low birth weight increases by 18%.”
“An increased risk was also recorded for pregnancy concentrations lower than the present European Union annual PM2·5 limit of 25 μg/m3”
“Living near roads with high traffic density has also been associated with greater risk of foetal undergrowth”
“Our findings suggest that a substantial proportion of cases of low birthweight at term could be prevented in Europe if urban air pollution, particularly fine particulate matter, was reduced”.
“The widespread exposure of pregnant women worldwide to urban ambient air pollution at similar or even higher concentrations than those assessed in our study provides a clear message to policy makers to improve the quality of the air we all share”