The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Research Shows Air Pollution As Major Cause for Pre-Mature Births Among Black Women

Research Shows Air Pollution As Major Cause for Pre-Mature Births Among Black Women
According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, pre-term births is the most common reason for black babies dying over 2.4 times the rate of white babies. The CDC has also discovered why; air pollution has been determined to be a major cause.

Air pollution and pre-mature births

The CDC study showed that more blacks than whites live in areas where they are exposed to large amounts of air pollutants. Air pollution is not only bad for overall health but also a health risk for unborn babies. The report stated that each mother’s potential exposure to air pollutants during critical periods of the pregnancy, especially the third trimester, can result in pre-term delivery (PTD).

The study indicated a significant association between air pollution, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, and the increased likelihood of PTD.

Babies who are born pre-term means they are born before 37 weeks and are at risk for cerebral palsy (a group of nervous system disorders that affect control of movement and posture and limit activity), developmental delays, and vision and hearing problems. They are also 3 times more likely to die in the first year of life than are full-term infants.

Take precautions

Expectant mothers living in high-pollution areas may not be able to change where they live, but they can take precautions.

  • Avoid congested areas like major highways and public transportation
  • Check daily air quality index with ozone and pollution counts in your area before going out. Stay in, if possible, on high air pollution days, or wear protective clothing. Especially protect the lungs from breathing in air pollutants.
  • Remove shoes when entering the house to keep pollutants from spreading throughout the home.
  • Avoid wood smoke as it contains harmful pollutants and potentially carcinogenic material such as fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, and others.
  • Vacuum the home often, using a HEPA filter to reduce dirt and toxins.
  • No smoking!

Read more advice on how to reduce pollution exposure by visiting www.cdc.gov/features/prematurebirth/index.html
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.



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