The UK's air pollution problem is damaging unborn babies, research claims

Exposure to air pollution is linked to babies’ growth during pregnancy, according to a new study.

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen reviewed a decade’s worth of research from around the world to establish the extent to which mothers’ exposure to air pollution, diet, alcohol and chemicals affects fetal growth.

The evidence suggests exposure to nitrogen dioxide results in smaller head sizes, particularly in the last three months of pregnancy.

‘Furthermore, the findings also suggest that public health measures are urgently required to minimise pregnant mothers’ exposures to nitrogen dioxide.’

Nitrogen dioxide is primarily generated by vehicle traffic, but can be present in the home from cigarette smoke or butane and kerosene heaters and stoves.

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