A new Danish study has provided more evidence to a troublesome theory: A mother’s exposure to airborne pollutants at work significantly increases the likelihood that the unborn child will develop asthma later in life. The study used registry data of nearly 50,000 mothers and their seven-year-old children. The general population demonstrated a 16.1-percent occurrence of asthma while the population exposed to pollution particles had asthma at a rate 2.5 percent higher.
The Danish study is not the first to demonstrate such a link between asthma in children and maternal exposures at work. However, according to Berit Christensen, the lead researcher, it is the first clinical study of this large scale to do so, and that provides the theory some much-needed credence.
The study, which Christensen conducted at the School of Public Health in Denmark, presented their findings in Amsterdam at an annual conference held by the European Respiratory Society. During the presentation, scientists explained how they estimated pollution exposure based on the mothers’ job titles.
The study categorized mother-child pairs as low-molecular-weight particles, high-molecular-weight particles, mixed, farmers, office workers, students and unclassifiable. Once the pairs were in groups, the researchers adjusted for mother’s age, body mass index, allergies, hypersensitivities, direct exposure to nicotine, medication and even pets.
The study concluded an approximately 11-percent increase for asthma in children whose mothers had exposure to both high- and low-molecular-weight particles. However, the study did not find any correlation between the other exposure groups and the rate of asthma occurrence.
Scientists at the conference were very receptive to the research and results. However, some scientists, such as Klaus Bonnelykke, of the Danish Pediatric Asthma Center, tempered the excitement: The scientific community must interpret these results with caution. There are many variables in play with asthma, and it is impossible to account and adjust for them all.
Nevertheless, there were scientists who took a more aggressive stance, not because of a single study, but due to the increasing prevalence of studies like it. At this point, it is difficult to refute the evidence: The prenatal period is a crucial time in terms of determining whether a person will have asthma or other allergic diseases. Regardless of stance, all agreed that more research is necessary.
In the meantime, pregnant women should be proactive about protecting their children. They can do that both at work and at home with a HEPA air purifier. HEPA air filtration is a very effective and cost-effective approach to breathing clean air. A quality HEPA air purifier from a leading manufacturer can trap 99.97% of all airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger, including dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores and so forth. In addition, most models feature an activated carbon component, which safely removes toxic gases, chemicals and odors.
No mother should take the chance. A portable HEPA air purifier is affordable and one of the best investments you’ll ever make for your child. It will help protect your child and the rest of the family now and for many years to come. The time for indecision is gone. Your baby is on the way and using the air that you’re currently breathing. Make sure you get the cleanest air possible.
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