In 2019, a study ties air pollution to 6 million preterm births.


In 2019, a study ties air pollution to 6 million preterm births.

Air pollution has an impact on children, with new research linking it to over 6 million premature births and nearly 3 million underweight babies globally in 2019.

According to a new study, more than 90% of the world’s population breathes filthy outdoor air.

And its ramifications have lasted for decades: Preemies and children born with low birth weight have an increased risk of developing serious illnesses later in life. Preterm birth is the biggest cause of infant mortality all over the world.

“The impact of air pollution is huge, but with enough effort, it might be largely mitigated,” said lead author Rakesh Ghosh, a public health specialist at the University of California, San Francisco’s Institute for Global Health Sciences.

Using total indoor and outdoor pollution exposure, Ghosh and his colleagues from UCSF and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calculated the risks of preterm birth and low birthweight.

They also took into account the possibility that the unfavorable effects will wane off at larger doses.

The researchers discovered that reducing air pollution in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa might cut preterm births and low birthweight by about 78 percent. Those areas have the world’s highest rates of preterm birth.

More industrialized areas, such as the United States, were also shown to be at danger from ambient air pollution, according to the study.

Outdoor air pollution in the United States is thought to have caused around 12,000 premature births in 2019.

“Our research implies that reducing air pollution and mitigating climate change will have major health benefits for newborns,” Ghosh said.

More information on the effects of air pollution on human health can be found at the World Health Organization.

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