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A Possible Link between Air Pollution and Preterm Birth

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The September 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology reports that research indicates there may be a link between air pollution and preterm birth in expecting mothers. The report is reluctant to make a definite link between the two phenomenons; however, the evidence that has been gathered through the extensive study is quite compelling. People who are already concerned about the impact dirty air has on their health and well-being will undoubtedly find this report to be very disturbing. Anyone who is unsure about the importance of breathing clean air should read more about the study and its findings.

What the Study Revealed

The study that is outlined in the issue of Epidemiology was conducted over a ten year span of time. From 1994 to 2004, researchers kept track of more than 476,000 women in the Atlanta area who gave birth during that time period. Basically, they compared the data that was collected from air quality monitors in the region to rates of preterm labor and delivery. Based on the data that they collected, there was a tenuous link between elevated levels of certain kinds of air pollution – especially fine particulate air pollution – and incidences of preterm labor in expectant mothers.

Fine Particulate Air Pollution Raises Red Flags

Although the air quality monitors work to assess the air pollution in the surrounding area, those used in the study seemed to pick up a significant link between fine particulate air pollution and preterm labor. Fine particulate air pollution is rampant, especially in urban areas. The primary contributors to a region’s fine particulate air pollution are car exhaust, power plants and other industrial waste. Incredibly, the study notes that when levels of fine particulate pollution were up from the previous week, incidences of preterm labor were, too.

One of the main kinds of fine particulate air pollution that was pinpointed in the study was nitrogen dioxide, or NO2. Nitrogen dioxide is a known marker of motor vehicle exhaust and was one of the most noticeable types of fine particulate air pollution to have a correlation with preterm labor. Considering that NO2 is abundant virtually everywhere, this news is definitely concerning. Even in areas that aren’t urban and crowded like Atlanta, NO2 is a part of the landscape since cars – and their exhaust – are found all over the entire country.

How Fine Particulate Air Pollution May Affect Preterm Labor

It’s critical to stress that the study does not make a conclusive link between fine particulate air pollution and preterm labor. However, preliminary studies have shown that exposure to fine particulate air pollution may trigger an inflammatory response in expectant mothers. More and more doctors are becoming convinced that inflammation plays a significant role in many cases of preterm labor. Thus, there is a possible link between air pollution and preterm labor. Further investigation is needed, but in the meantime pregnant women will undoubtedly want to limit their exposure to air pollution as much as possible.

Avoiding Air Pollution Exposure Is Important

Most of us already know that air pollution can cause all sorts of health problems. The news that it may trigger preterm labor just intensifies the need to avoid it as much as possible. While using a HEPA air purifier in no way prevents cases of preterm labor, it can definitely improve the overall health of an expectant mother by providing exceptional indoor air quality. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter have been shown to offer many benefits to allergy and asthma sufferers.

How HEPA Air Purifiers Can Help

A high quality HEPA air purifier can remove 99.97% of airborne particulates from the air in your home. Keeping your doors and windows shut as much as possible doesn’t keep NO2 and other fine particulate air pollution out, but using an air purifier can eliminate the majority of the problem. Therefore, pregnant women – and everyone in the home – can enjoy the health benefits of breathing clean, pure air by using a well-designed HEPA air purifier. Staying healthy is easier than ever thanks to these remarkable products.

When shopping for a HEPA air purifier, it is critical to invest in one from a reputable manufacturer. Clean Air Plus strictly sells top of the line models from respected manufacturers.  Whether you’re an expectant mother or just someone who wants to protect your family’s health as much as possible, ordering a HEPA air purifier from Clean Air Plus is one of the best ways to do so. 

 

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