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growth of newborns, air pollution
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Since the beginning of the COVID epidemic, the impact of air pollution has been strongly emphasized in the cultures and societies of each country.

People who lived in areas most exposed to pollutants found that they were more likely to be infected with the virus, which would later affect their breathing. Sometimes the probability of impact falls disproportionately on the socially disadvantaged.

Speaking to us about her work unrelated to this study, Elika M. Moss of A&M University in Alabama said: “African Americans, people of color, in addition to low-income communities, face many environmental problems in addition to air pollution. Of great concern is the proximity of hazardous waste facilities, landfills, which are often located in colored communities, which, in addition to causing disproportionate exposure to air pollutants, also leads to soil and water quality issues.

In a separate study, researchers looked at the effects of air pollution on pediatric asthma.

Elsewhere, the research team linked the impact of baby air pollution to ‘future intelligence’, which found that cognitive decline was more likely if the child lived in a more polluted environment.

Thyroid hormones are needed for fetal growth, to regulate metabolism, and to play a role in neurological development. Thyroxine is the major circulating thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone is TSH. Within 48 hours, newborns are tested for heel spurs to measure blood levels of thyroxine և TSH. In fact, if the balance of these thyroid hormones is not right, the risk of developing serious diseases increases.

So can air pollution actually slow down a newborn’s growth?

The researcher says. “The impact of the first months has a direct impact”

Amaya Irizar-Loybide, a researcher in the UPV / EHU Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, says: “The results of this study revealed a direct link between the effects of thin particles during pregnancy and the thyroxine level of newborns. However, we have not found a clear link between the effects of nitrogen dioxide.

“What we have seen in this study is that the effects of the first months of pregnancy have a direct effect on the balance of thyroid hormones. These children tend to have low thyroxine levels. As the pregnancy progressed, we found that these relationships gradually diminished, that is, the mother’s influence gradually became less important. At the end of pregnancy, however, this connection becomes obvious again, but has the opposite effect. As the concentration of these fine particles increased, we saw an increase in the level of thyroid hormones, which had the opposite effect on balance.

“It is not clear what mechanism is behind all this. In any case, we have come to the conclusion that the most sensitive periods of pregnancy in terms of air pollution are the early or late months. “

Researchers want to know if air pollution has a greater impact

Amaia Irizar-Loibide later commented. “The next task will be to study the mechanisms by which these fine particles cause a contradictory effect during early or late pregnancy. In fact, these particles are nothing more than tiny spheres of carbon.

“We need to continue to study whether the effects of pregnancy affect not only thyroid hormones, but also other aspects such as neuropsychological development, growth, obesity, etc.”

Read the full study here.

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