Does Air Pollution Causes Birth Defects And Fetal Death

Does Air Pollution Causes Birth Defects And Fetal Death

Harmful particulate matter in the atmosphere can produce birth defects and even fatalities during pregnancy, according to research in rats.

Using female rats, researchers examined the adverse health effects of exposure to fine particulate matter consisting of ammonium sulfate commonly found in many locations around the world. Researchers detected large fractions of this substance not only in Asia, but also in Houston (51 percent) and Los Angeles (31 percent).

During winter months in China and India, where severe haze events frequently occur, fine particulate matter levels were especially high at several hundred micrograms per cubic meter, the team concludes.

“…this certainly represents a major problem worldwide.”

Air pollution is a century-old problem for much of the world. According to the World Health Organization, 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe air containing high level of pollutants, and 1 of every 9 global deaths can be attributed to exposure to air pollution, totaling over 7 million premature deaths a year.

Even in the United States, about one third of the population still live under poor air quality conditions, according to a report the US Environmental Protection Agency released in 2018.

“People typically believe that ammonium sulfate may not be terribly toxic, but our results show large impacts on female pregnant rats,” says co-lead author Renyi Zhang, a professor of atmospheric sciences and the chair in geosciences Texas A&M University. “It is unclear yet what is causing these profound effects, but we speculate that the size of nanoparticles or even the acidity may be the culprit.”

Zhang says sulfate is mainly produced from coal burning, which is a major energy source for much of the world in both developed and developing countries. Ammonium is derived from ammonia, which is produced from agricultural, automobile, and animal emissions, “so this certainly represents a major problem worldwide,” Zhang says.

“However, our results show that prenatal exposure to air pollution may not dispose offspring to obesity in adulthood,” says co-lead author Guoyao Wu, a professor of animal nutrition. “Nutrition and lifestyle are likely major factors contributing to the current obesity epidemic worldwide.”

Numerous previous studies have shown that air pollution is a serious public health threat throughout the world, with millions of people breathing air that does not meet standards the World Health Organization has set.

In addition, previous studies have shown such pollution to impair metabolic and immune systems in animal offspring, but the team’s study shows definitive proof of decreased fetal survival rates, and also shortened gestation rates that can result in smaller body weight, in addition to damage to brains, hearts, and other organs in the adult rat models.

The findings present obvious concerns and challenges on a multi-scale level, the team concludes.

“While epidemiological studies have been widely adopted to assess the health effects of air pollution, these tend to yield little insight into adverse outcomes and long-term effects,” Zhang says.

“Furthermore, there is an absence of clinical recommendations for prevention and treatment of air pollution-related health issues. Our study has demonstrated that well-controlled exposure experiments using animal models offer major advantages for future air pollution control and are promising in the development of therapeutic intervention and treatment procedures.”

The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Additional researchers from Texas A&M University and the University of California, San Diego contributed to the work.

Support for the work came from the Tier One Program at Texas A&M, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Source: Texas A&M University

Related Books

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

by Mark W. Moffett
0465055680If a chimpanzee ventures into the territory of a different group, it will almost certainly be killed. But a New Yorker can fly to Los Angeles--or Borneo--with very little fear. Psychologists have done little to explain this: for years, they have held that our biology puts a hard upper limit--about 150 people--on the size of our social groups. But human societies are in fact vastly larger. How do we manage--by and large--to get along with each other? In this paradigm-shattering book, biologist Mark W. Moffett draws on findings in psychology, sociology and anthropology to explain the social adaptations that bind societies. He explores how the tension between identity and anonymity defines how societies develop, function, and fail. Surpassing Guns, Germs, and Steel and Sapiens, The Human Swarm reveals how mankind created sprawling civilizations of unrivaled complexity--and what it will take to sustain them.   Available On Amazon

Environment: The Science Behind the Stories

by Jay H. Withgott, Matthew Laposata
0134204883Environment: The Science behind the Stories is a best seller for the introductory environmental science course known for its student-friendly narrative style, its integration of real stories and case studies, and its presentation of the latest science and research. The 6th Edition features new opportunities to help students see connections between integrated case studies and the science in each chapter, and provides them with opportunities to apply the scientific process to environmental concerns. Available On Amazon

Feasible Planet: A guide to more sustainable living

by Ken Kroes
0995847045Are you concerned about the state of our planet and hope that governments and corporations will find a sustainable way for us to live? If you do not think about it too hard, that may work, but will it? Left on their own, with drivers of popularity and profits, I am not too convinced that it will. The missing part of this equation is you and me. Individuals who believe that corporations and governments can do better. Individuals who believe that through action, we can buy a bit more time to develop and implement solutions to our critical issues. Available On Amazon

From The Publisher:
Purchases on Amazon go to defray the cost of bringing you InnerSelf.com, MightyNatural.com, and ClimateImpactNews.com at no cost and without advertisers that track your browsing habits. Even if you click on a link but don't buy these selected products, anything else you buy in that same visit on Amazon pays us a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, so please contribute to the effort. You can also use this link to use to Amazon at any time so you can help support our efforts.

 

al

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfrdehiiditjakomsfaptruesswsvthtrurvi

LATEST VIDEOS

Can We Terraform the Sahara to Stop Climate Change?
by Real Engineering
Is terraforming the Sahara of the solutions to Stop Climate Change? We'll explore this idea in this video.
Allergens Are On The Rise In Canada's Urban Centres
by CBC News: The National
Canadians across the country say their allergies are getting worse.
Bill Nye And The Climate Crisis
by MSNBC
On a special show before a live studio audience, Bill Nye the science guy discusses the climate crisis with Chris Hayes.
How Greenland's Massive Ice Melt Will Totally Transform The World
by Channel 4 News
Remember that heatwave back in August? Well, the Arctic remembers it too. Record rates of ice melt have been recorded…
China Is Positioned To Lead On Climate Change As The US Rolls Back Its Policies
China Is Positioned To Lead On Climate Change As The US Rolls Back Its Policies
by Kelly Sims Gallagher and Fang Zhang
As the effects of climate change become more widespread and alarming, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has…
What Happens When The Permafrost Thaws?
by Official W5
Almost half of Canada sits on permanently frozen land called permafrost, but climate change is causing it to thaw and…
We Are Striking to Disrupt the System: An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg
by Democracy Now!
In her first extended broadcast interview in the United States, we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old…
Annual Assessment of North Cascades Glaciers Finds Shocking Loss of Volume
Annual Assessment of North Cascades Glaciers Finds Shocking Loss of Volume
by Mauri Pelto
The summer of 2019 found the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project in the field for the 36th consecutive summer…

LATEST ARTICLES

How To Build A City Fit For 50℃ Heatwaves
How To Build A City Fit For 50℃ Heatwaves
by Adrian Pitts
The Persian Gulf is already one of the hottest parts of the world, but by the end of the century increasing heat…
Can We Terraform the Sahara to Stop Climate Change?
by Real Engineering
Is terraforming the Sahara of the solutions to Stop Climate Change? We'll explore this idea in this video.
Hope And Mourning In The Anthropocene: Understanding Ecological Grief
Hope And Mourning In The Anthropocene: Understanding Ecological Grief
by Neville Ellis and Ashlee Cunsolo
We are living in a time of extraordinary ecological loss. Not only are human actions destabilising the very conditions…
Healthy, Happy And Tropical – World's Fastest-growing Cities Demand Our Attention
Healthy, Happy And Tropical – World's Fastest-growing Cities Demand Our Attention
by Karine Dupré, et al
What does it take to be a happy and healthy city? In any city, myriad factors go into the mix – and of course we are…
The Government Is Right To Fund Energy Storage: A 100% Renewable Grid Is Within Reach
The Government Is Right To Fund Energy Storage: A 100% Renewable Grid Is Within Reach
by Andrew Blakers, et al
In a speech to the National Press Club yesterday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared that the key requirements…
Allergens Are On The Rise In Canada's Urban Centres
by CBC News: The National
Canadians across the country say their allergies are getting worse.
High-tech Weather Forecasting Aims To Bring New Hope To Indian Farmers Facing The Devastation Of Climate Change
High-tech Weather Forecasting Aims To Bring New Hope To Indian Farmers Facing The Devastation Of Climate Change
by Sam Relph
The world’s largest network of automated weather stations, created to predict droughts and floods, is helping tackle…
Regenerative Agriculture Can Make Farmers Stewards Of The Land Again
Regenerative Agriculture Can Make Farmers Stewards Of The Land Again
by Stephanie Anderson
For years, “sustainable” has been the buzzword in conversations about agriculture.