Air pollution is as bad for pregnant women as smoking in raising the risk of miscarriage, according to a scientific study. They said the finding was upsetting and that toxic air must be cut to protect the health of the next generation.
The effect of long-term exposure to dirty air on the risk of miscarriage has been analysed previously. Studies from Brazil to Italy to Mongolia found a link, but others failed to do so.
However, the latest study is the first to assess the impact of short-term exposure to air pollution. It found that raised levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution that are commonplace around the world increased the risk of losing a pregnancy by 16%.
esults were applicable elsewhere: “There are many places in the world that suffer from pollution that is far greater, so this is not a problem unique to Utah. This is a problem we are all facing.” NO2 levels in Salt Lake City are similar to those in cities such as London and Paris.
Fuller was initially alerted to the issue when a family member lost a miscarried during a particularly poor period of air quality in 2016. He said: “That triggered the question in my mind and then I started noticing anecdotally that I was seeing spikes in miscarriage numbers in the emergency department during and after [pollution spikes].”