CREAL: Breastfeeding protects against environmental pollution

CREAL: Breastfeeding protects against environmental pollution

News from CREAL

Living in a city with a high level of vehicle traffic or close to a steel works means living with two intense sources of environmental pollution. However, a study led by the UPV/EHU researcher Aitana Lertxundi indicates that the harmful effect of PM2.5 pollution particle matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) disappears in breastfed babies during the first four months of life. According to the results of the research, breastfeeding plays a protective role in the presence of these two atmospheric pollutants.

Aitana Lertxundi has led her research work within the framework of the INMA (Childhood and Environment) Project, led by Jesús Ibarluzea of the Department of Health of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community. Jordi Sunyer, Joint Scientific Director and researcher at CREAL, an ISGlobal allied center, is the director of INMA Project.

The aim of this project is to assess how exposure to environmental pollution during pregnancy affects health and also to examine the role of diet in physical and neuro behavioural development in infancy. The Lertxundi’s study focuses on the repercussions on motor and mental development during the first years of life caused by exposure to the PM2.5 and NO2 atmospheric pollutants.

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Lertxundi A., et al. “Exposure to fine particle matter, nitrogen dioxide and benzene during pregnancy and cognitive and psychomotor developments in children at 15 months of age” Environment International (2015)