Are pregnant women more vulnerable to peak pollution?


Recent studies have reported on the effects of atmospheric pollution on pregnant women – here’s what they found…

In 2012, 2.3% of French children were born hypotrophic, or in other words weighing less than 2.5 kg (5.5lbs) after full-term delivery. This study’s findings revealed that half of these cases were caused by atmospheric pollution and particulate matter, a figure representing approximately 1 in 100 of all newborns. Hypotrophy can impact a child’s physical and, in rare cases, even intellectual development.

These researchers also calculated the cost of treating hypotrophy to be 25 million euros ($29M/£22M) for maternity care and total costs of €1.2M ($1.4M/£1M) related to the psychomotor retardation affecting one in four hypotrophic newborns. And of course, the lion’s share of these costs fall to the parents (childcare, special education and so on).

The study’s authors hope to build awareness of this condition as well as instigate improvements in how the public are protected and treated. First and foremost, they state that pregnant women should avoid traveling during peak pollution times.