News
18/10/2013

CREAL: Large European study finds exposure to even low levels of air pollution during pregnancy increases risk of lower birthweight babies

CREAL: Large European study finds exposure to even low levels of air pollution during pregnancy increases risk of lower birthweight babies


News from CREAL


Exposure to common air pollutants and traffic during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of restricted fetal growth, even at levels well below those stipulated in current European Union (EU) air-quality directives, according to one of the largest studies of its kind, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

The researchers estimate that for every increase of 5 micrograms per cubic metre (5µg/m³) in exposure to fine particulate matter during pregnancy, found in for example traffic fumes and industrial air pollutants, the risk of low birthweight at term rises by 18%. Importantly, this increased risk persists at levels below the existing EU annual air quality limit of 25µg/m³.

More information:

CREAL press release

 

Reference: 

Marie Pedersen et al. Ambient air pollution and low birthweight: a European cohort study (ESCAPE). The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Early Online Publication, 15 October 2013

DOI:10.1016/S2213-2600(13)70192-9