Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Placentas, air pollution and four week old babies

Air pollution, placentas  and  four weeks of pregnancy

Air pollution from a wide variety of sources acts metal development causing a wide range of health problems including prematurity, low birth weight babies and developmental delays.  Each year, we spend billions of dollars to care for infants and children impacted by air pollution- while failing to prevent these complications by tending to a cleaner environment.
The fossil fuel industry, including fracking, transport and storage, cause significant damage to newborns.   This is most often in low income communities due to zoning laws that protect higher income babies from an increased level of air pollution.

Researchers have worked hard to determine exactly how and when air pollution impacts the health of babies.   They mostly depend on retrospective studies that look at air pollution on specific days and then look at prematurity, gestational hypertension and other birth defects of pregnant women impacted by the air pollution.  They look at women who live within a mile of fracking as well.

The studies have been completed in many of our fossil fuel extraction sites as well as sites around the world.  Brown University, John Hopkins and Colorado School of Public Health have all found a correlation.

They found a correlation between fossil fuel extraction and its ambient air pollution with prematurity, low birth weigh leading to future disabilities, congenital heart defect, and gestational hypertension.

No one knows exactly how prematurity happens but they suspect that the earliest weeks of pregnancy are some of the riskiest for the unborn baby.  One baby suggested that ambient pollution at just four weeks is the most dangerous.  Many women do not even know they are pregnant yet.

Researchers believe it has something to do with placental implantation being impacted by the chemicals in ambient air pollution.  It also can cause an inflammatory pathway that exists throughout the pregnancy.

This is consistent with researchers who now believe that eclampsia begins in the placenta.

The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with making sure that corporations do not hurt the health of humans and the natural resources that protect their health.   States, county and local governments also are charged with making sure the air and water is clean.  They believe that pollution is a necessary evil for jobs but few acknowledge that the health care an school budgets are greatly impacted by "looking the other way."

A pro-life community assures clean air for all people and most of all - the most vulnerable- the yet to be born and their placenta.

Big business continues to move ahead with pipe lines, fracking and a wide range of storage and transport  mechanism that shed pollutants into the air where an unsuspecting pregnant women is impacted for the rest of their life.

New Republic ( 2/15/2014)

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