• Exposure to pollution 'could cause prenatal damage'

Air Monitoring

Exposure to pollution 'could cause prenatal damage'

Oct 09 2008

Women have been warned exposure to air pollution could cause damage to the foetus prior to birth.

New research from Switzerland revealed the babies of mothers who were exposed to high air pollution levels during pregnancy experienced a higher risk of breathing problems than those who were not, Reuters reports.

The results from the University of Bern have been presented at the annual congress of the Respiratory Society being held in Berlin, Germany.

Dr Philipp Latzin and his team conducted a number of standard lung function tests in 241 healthy full term infants aged five weeks, while also measuring maternal exposure to certain particles.

They also measured the distance of the mothers' homes and workplaces from major roads.

"[Air pollution exposure in pregnant women] is associated with higher respiratory need and airway inflammation in newborns," the researchers said.

NHS Direct notes smoking is a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while other causes can include fumes and air pollution.

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