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New research has found that there is a link between the effects of prenatal air pollutants on “weak childhood growth”.

New research has found that there is a link between prenatal birth effects and adverse health effects, particularly growth.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of the Basque Country, the results of which were recently published in the journal Environmental research Previous studies have shown that prenatal exposure to air pollutants can lead to changes in thyroid hormone levels in young children, although this is limited.

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In a new study, researchers were interested in studying how specific air pollution affects different stages of a baby’s development. They discussed how the effects of particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in pregnancy affect the levels of total thyroxine (TT4) in infants and their effects.


PM2.5 և NO2 is one of the most common air pollutants, usually caused by a tripod, while trioxin is the major hormone secreted by the thyroid gland.

Air pollution affects the fetus

Loan: Pixlr / Deb_Edit

The researchers looked at 463 women and their offspring. The women were pregnant at the beginning of the study, but before they finished, they gave birth. Researchers have observed both expectant mothers and their newborns after birth.

To collect the data, the researchers measured air pollutants using “high-volume aerosol samples – passive samples” during pregnancy. They also collected blood samples from newborns through the heel to measure their total TT4 samples. In addition, mothers were instructed to complete questionnaires during their first and second trimesters.

A congested road with cars on it causes air pollution

Through Creative Commons / Alexandr Trubetskoy

In conclusion, the researchers found that mothers with higher PM2.5 levels during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to babies with high levels of TT4. If the hormones produced by the thyroid gland are not balanced, it can lead to serious illness և growth retardation, especially if it occurs in childhood.

The researchers also noted that the later the effects of air pollution during pregnancy, the more harmful it is to thyroxine levels. They added that the early to later months of pregnancy are more sensitive to the negative effects of air pollution.

Interestingly, however, no such association was observed between prenatal NO2 exposure NO և TT4 levels:.

This is not the first study to look at the negative effects of prenatal exposure to air pollution on childhood growth. A study published in April 2020 found that children with higher TT4 levels were more likely to have a low body mass index (BMI) և weight by age 4.

Newborn at NICU

Through Unsplash / Sharon McCutcheon

It is still unclear why common air pollutants have such a negative effect on children’s growth. However, researchers have some theories that need to be explored for further research.

“Our hypotheses include oxidative stress, inflammation, thyroid hormone interference, DNA damage due to DNA damage, increased risk of respiratory diseases, and other health problems that may delay growth,” he said in 2020. The research coordinator, Martine Vrijheid, explained:

They added that further research should find out why the negative effects of prenatal exposure to air pollutants begin in early pregnancy and become particularly harmful in later trimesters.

Next. AAP issues new guidelines for the first 2 months of a baby’s life

Sources: Science Direct, Medical Xpress, Medical Xpress,

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