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Air Pollution Connects To Premature Births Worldwide

Update Date: Feb 20, 2017 07:10 AM EST

In a report from the World Health Organization, it has been revealed that air pollution is being considered as one of the causes of premature birth around the globe. Africa and Asia are among the worst affected areas and the number of preterm birth rates continuous to rise in the regions.

Data from the WHO reveals that 1 in every 10 infants around the globe is born prematurely. A total of 15 million babies are born around the world and the number of preterm birth rates continuous to rise, due to air pollution, Huffington Post reports. Several factors like maternal health status and poverty still count as significant reasons for preterm births.

However, recent studies reveal that air pollution is becoming a major risk factor for births that occurs at 37 weeks or earlier.

Data gathered in the study also revealed that there are already 2.7 million preterm births recorded across 183 countries in 2010. These preterm births are already associated with air pollutants known as particulate matter, or PM, found in polluted air.

PM is defined by The Guardian as a form of air pollution that causes the hazy appearance in the air. Besides reducing visibility, it can also penetrate the longs and can lead to health problems. Particulate matters are a by-product of diesel-run vehicles and burning of agricultural waste.

The research was conducted at the Stockholm Environment Institute of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as well as the University of Colorado. Previous studies conducted in this institution also reveals that air pollution in the uterus might also create negative impacts to the unborn child's birth weight, or the likelihood of being born preterm.

Although some experts treat air pollution as a "conservative" risk for preterm birth, immediate actions to attempt in reducing the global rate of premature births remains to be a priority worldwide.

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