Active Stocks
Mon Apr 15 2024 09:24:00
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 161.10 -1.47%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 424.70 -1.26%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 995.50 -2.24%
  1. Wipro share price
  2. 465.10 -1.23%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 754.60 -1.58%
Business News/ News / India/  Rising air pollution can affect unborn babies, pregnant women: Experts
BackBack

Rising air pollution can affect unborn babies, pregnant women: Experts

As the air quality deteriorates in Delhi-NCR, health experts are of the view that air pollution can negatively affect pregnancy, possibly leading to preterm birth, a low birth weight, stillbirth, or congenital abnormalities.

A view of the skyscrapers covered in smog amid rising air pollution, in Noida (Hindustan Times)Premium
A view of the skyscrapers covered in smog amid rising air pollution, in Noida (Hindustan Times)

Delhi-NCR's air quality marginally improved to 'poor' category on Thursday. Health experts are of the view that the rising air pollution can negatively affect pregnancy, possibly leading to preterm birth, a low birth weight, stillbirth, or congenital abnormalities.

Nitrate, sulfate, black carbon, and aluminum are among the pollutants in Delhi's air that can worsen asthma attacks, make breathing difficult, cause birth defects, headaches, and Alzheimer's disease. Although our current exposure to air pollution may not have any immediate effects, we will eventually have to deal with the consequences, which may be lasting.

The AQI is constantly dipping into very poor and severe category in the capital region, with doctors advising expecting mothers to stay indoors as much as possible.

WHO has also cautioned vulnerable groups like pregnant women, older adults above 60 years, and children under 5 years about the risks and health effects that poor air quality can cause.

Compared to women who breathe cleaner air, pregnant women who are exposed to excessive air pollution during their pregnancy are more likely to have children with autism. According to some researchers, there are a lot of contaminants in air pollution, which can stop the baby's brain from developing properly.

Asthma in children, low birth weight, preterm birth, and neurological or cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease may all be caused by air pollution, according to the State of Global Air Report 2019.Additionally, the report states that a child born today will typically die 20 months earlier than would be expected in an environment free of air pollution. This simply indicates that one of the factors contributing to a decline in life expectancy—the number of years a person is expected to live—is air pollution.

Recently, a high-resolution satellite image was released, showcasing a massive methane cloud near a waste facility in India.

“It is no secret that these gases create a lot of cardiovascular, pulmonary, ENT, and skin-related disasters in the human body. Inhaling harmful substances welcomes innumerable conditions which are at times chronic and dangerous with long-term effects," said Dr. Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, Consultant Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine at Yashoda hospitals Hyderabad.

Recommending pregnant women wear N-95 masks if they go outside, Balasubramanian said, “Pregnant women are at a higher risk in such an environment."

There is research stating that expecting mothers are at risk of experiencing preterm labour and with it, comes the risk of low birth weight, underdeveloped lungs, and many other fatal conditions in the baby, he said.

There are also chances of stillbirth as the air inhaled by the mother very much forms the surviving environment of the baby. Ensure that in such a situation an expecting mother stays away from pollution and is provided with ample nutrition and hydration, he added.

Air pollution is a silent killer and the monstrous toxicity levels in the air of Delhi-NCR are increasing risks for pregnant women. It is affecting everyone with both long-term and short-term side effects. Even unborn babies are not left unaffected.

“Air pollution can affect the health of the pregnant woman and the developing baby. Pollutants in the air can cross the placenta, affecting the placenta's health, and disrupting the baby's development. Toxic air can also increase the risk of miscarriage," said Dr Akta Bajaj, Senior Consultant and Head-Obstetrics Gynaecology, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

“The effect of air pollution on unborn babies depends on several factors, such as how long the exposure lasts, and what the level of air quality is, among others. Pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure, have higher chances to be found in pregnant women who are exposed to air pollution," she said. 

With inputs from agencies*

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 10 Nov 2022, 05:43 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App