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June, 2003:

Impact of Pollution on Children

Birth Defect Studies

Impact of pollution on children

(our thanks to Louise Sandberg )

This article includes a Hong Kong study showing that children from polluted areas have lower lung capacities (Spring 2003):

from the article:

– In a Czech Republic study, researchers examined births and air pollution levels in 67 districts. Women exposed to sulfur dioxide (created when sulfur-rich fuels like coal and diesel are burned), especially in their first trimester, had higher numbers of both low birth weight newborns and premature babies. Newborns of women exposed to total suspended particulate matter (soot, also a product of coal combustion) were also linked to low birth weight.(7)

– Exposure to sulfur dioxide also led to increased low-birth-weight newborns in a study of Boston, Philadelphia and four other northeastern cities, but so did carbon monoxide.(8) The link between carbon monoxide and low birth weight was also found in southern California.(9)

– All these pollutants-carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and total suspended particulate matter-were linked in Korea to newborns with increased low birth weight, and so was another, oxides of nitrogen (created by combustion, especially by power plants and vehicle engines).(10) Scientists compared 276,763 births to pollution levels collected from 21 monitoring sites, where, as was the case in California and the Northeast cities, motor vehicles were the dominant sources of pollution.