According to a recent study, air pollution particles can enter growing foetuses’ tissues and organs through pregnant women’s lungs. Although the health effects are not yet clear, the findings are raising worries that ambient air pollution from sources like burning fossil fuels and automobile emissions can have an impact on foetuses before they even exit the womb.
Researchers first shown that “black carbon” particles may pass the placenta and enter the foetal circulation system, eventually ending up in a fetus’s organs, despite the fact that previous investigations had revealed evidence of these particles in the placenta.
The Lancet Planetary Health released the ground-breaking research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Hasselt University in Belgium.
According to Paul Fowler, Ph.D., chair in translational medical sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, black carbon or soot particles are created by incomplete combustion from things like fossil fuel engines, coal-fired power plants, incineration, and wood-burning stoves. Fowler continued, “Lack of environmental controls on emissions can (also) affect and contribute to air pollution.”
The current study’s conclusions might contribute to an explanation for the developmental problems that have been noticed following exposure to particle air pollution. According to Fowler, earlier studies had demonstrated the existence of black carbon particles in the placenta, but it was not known if these particles could penetrate the foetus or its organs during gestation.