Outcomes of air pollution on fetus & newborn babies

The environment in which we live has various effects on fetuses in mother womb and on newborn. Clean air is essential for well being and to live healthily.

Outcomes of air pollution on fetus & newborn babiesBut this air which is a bounty of nature is polluted by different human activities. Emission of different kinds of pollutants like oxides of nitrogen, carbon Sulphur particulate matter and different kinds of heavy metals by human activities deteriorating the air quality which is a leading cause of various diseases not only in adults but also in in in unborn and newborn babies.

Despite being protected in womb air pollution still affects unborn babies. Pregnant women who breathe polluted air could have babies with deficits. This makes these babies susceptible to several health complications. These pollutants have associated effect with a decrease in length, head circumference and weight of fetus depending on exposure and intensity of different air pollutants by mother affect differently the baby in the mother’s womb.in addition to low birth weight decrease in size and head circumference air pollutants also elevate the risk of mortality and morbidity in early childhood and coronary artery disease hypertension and diabetes in adult age.

The exposure of different air pollutants also has associated cognitive, systemic biological, anatomical and neurodevelopmental effects. Chronic exposure to air pollutants by mother also cause changes in physiology of unborn babies after birth. Different kinds of heavy metals exposure for example lead disturb the enzymatic activity in the mother by replacing the other metals which act as co-factor for normal functioning of some enzymes and this disruption harms the fetus.

These various air pollutants also connected with premature birth( mainly in male babies ) prenatal morbidity, survival, health, growth, development and early child mortality. Nearly 15 billion babies are born annually before the complete gestation period. This premature birth cause visual hearing and learning disabilities. Air pollution causes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Fetuses are more prone to air pollution due to physiological immaturity during the delicate period of development. How this air pollution can be decreased, the main thing is public awareness about the negative impacts of various air pollutants and their collaboration towards different diseases in the present and also in the next generation. 

How air pollutants get entry into fetus

Air pollutants enter into the mother lungs by breathing and then they get access to the fetus in mother womb by infiltration through the placenta. Aerosol and other particulate matter get access to the fetus by organs which mothers use to nourish their fetuses tiny microscopic particles also get entry into unborn babies and cause a delay in growth and development by affecting the cardiovascular system. Mother supply blood to her fetus by umbilical cord and pollutant also reach to a fetus by this cord

Defects developing in fetus and newborn by pollutants exposure 

Pollutant exposure causes cognitive systemic biological and neuro development and anatomical effects in fetuses. Prenatal exposure cause toxic hazards, the level of exposure and intensity of pollutants have a direct link with disability caused by them. Particulate matter different oxides and other pollutants like heavy metals emission by different anthropogenic activities i:e gasoline and diesel combustion mining and fires in agricultural fields. These activities of a present generation creating the circumstances which are lethal for the next generation. These air pollutants dangerously affect the unborn babies in the mother womb which breath in that polluted air.

Different oxides especially nitrogen oxides cause a decrease in weight length and head size of newborn babies. Prenatal exposure diesel exhaust and airborne particulate matter PM 2.5um cause dysfunction of the vascular system. Alteration occurs in blood-brain barriers permeability by traffic generated pollutants due to which neuro developmental defects occur and also has an impact on the synapse ability of the functional unit of the nervous system(neuron or nerve cell) and impair communication ability.

Exposure to particulate matter also causes disturbance of endogenous redox signaling. Small unseen pollutants cause delay in growth also negatively affect the fetus’s circulatory system mainly umbilical vein and main artery, researchers compare the results of pregnant women who breathe in polluted air with those who breath in completely filtered air the findings are that exposure to air pollutants in early stage of gestation has negative impact on circulatory system of unborn fetus, higher exposure lessen size due to restriction in blood flow and nutrient provided by mother.

Air pollutants also cause premature birth, and perinatal mortality, a lot of childbirths occur before completion of the gestation period, respiratory like asthma and cardiovascular disease. Higher exposure to air pollutants also induce disability in brain, air pollutants like heavy metals disrupt the enzymatic activity in mother which negatively affect fetus, some heavy metals act as facilitator(co-factor) for the normal functioning of some enzymes in their normal amount, higher exposure to other heavy metals replace these co-factors and inhibition of enzymes result.

Air pollutants also damage the myelin sheath in nerve cell due to which transmission of nerve impulses will not remain normal and restriction in coordinated action which will not be completed and the consequences are functional and vascular diseases. Studies show that higher exposure to air pollutants by mother associated with spontaneous abortion and premature delivery due to which early mortality occur. Air pollutants also have a link with leukemia, research demonstrated that there are more chances of leukemia in children who have more exposure to air pollution in early age.

 Effect of radiations

The era in which we live relies heavily on technology which produces a variety of radiations from different devices of daily use. These radiation harm fetuses and newborn babies because they are more susceptible to them. Higher exposure to these radiations causes different diseases in newborns like Glioma, Meningioma, nerve sheath tumor and Vestibular Schwannoma and other emotional and behavioral diseases. Studies show that a cell phone which is held against the child’s head exposes deeply the brain structures than in adult, the thin skull of child absorb higher dose than adults’ skull.

Extensive use of cell phone which could be an addictive behavior associated with behavioral and emotional diseases. Prenatal exposure to radiation causes hyperactivity in newborn kids and behavioral problems and cognitive effects in children. The higher use of mobile phones by mother during pregnancy adversely affects the neuro development in the fetus. Research shows that these radiations also cause infertility in male babies and adults. Exposure to radiations causes a decrease in sperm quality and quantity by lessening the volume of Siemen.


To escape from the air pollution which is a terror is impossible. No one can get rid of its severe and deadly impacts from the womb to the grave. Air pollution effects directly to existing individuals and also target deviously to those which don’t have direct contact with pollutants and protected in womb. The effects of these pollutants on living organisms may range from mild to severe depending upon their vulnerability and exposure to these pollutants.

The situation is that involuntarily a person can inhale so many dangerous pollutants which may kill him silently with time and also have detrimental impacts on offspring in the future. The sustainability of life in this alarming situation is hard. If the condition remains uncontrolled and persists, one day this globe, being the only one at which life exists could not support its inhabitants. 

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