Quantcast
Connect with us

Black carbon from air pollution found in placentas: study

Published

on

Black carbon particles typically emitted by vehicle exhaust and coal-fired power plants have been detected on the foetus-facing side of placentas, researchers said Tuesday.

The concentration of particles was highest in the placentas of women most exposed to airborn pollutants in their daily life, according to a study in Nature Communications.

“Our study provides compelling evidence for the presence of black carbon particles originating from air pollution in human placenta,” the authors said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The findings, they added, offer a “plausible explanation for the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards.”

Air pollution is known to have potentially devastating impacts on children’s health.

The biggest risk is for low birth weight, which in turn increases the odds for diabetes, asthma, stroke, heart disease and a host of other conditions.

But the biological explanation for how and why air pollution poses such a threat to newborns has long puzzled doctors.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The new study sheds some light on this by showing that inhalation of black carbon particles can accumulate in the placenta,” commented Christine Jasoni, director of the Brain Health Research Centre at the University of Otago in New Zealand, commenting on the study.

Scientists led by Tim Nawrot at Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium postulated that “black carbon particles are able to translocate from the mothers’ lungs to the placenta.”

Nawrot and his team used high-resolution imaging to examine the placentas of 23 full-term and five pre-term births.

ADVERTISEMENT

Women who had been exposed to higher levels of black carbon particles — averaging 2.42 micrograms per cubic metre — showed significantly higher levels of particles in the placenta than ten mothers exposed to a quarter as much.

Critically, traces of black carbon were found on the inward-facing side of the placenta, putting them in direct in contact with the developing foetus.

There was no evidence, however, of pollution particles in the foetus itself, suggesting the placenta may act as a barrier to the toxins.

ADVERTISEMENT

“But the black carbon could be damaging the placenta,” said Jennifer Salmond, and an associate professor at the University of Auckland’s School of Environment, commenting on the new findings.

“Poor placental function could explain the low birth weight that has been associated with air pollution in other studies.”

Children are particularly vulnerable to poor air quality during foetal development, when exposure can result in life-long changes to development as well as permanent damage to lung tissue.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this study is that black carbon particles from air that is not even considered to be particularly polluted by WHO standards is nonetheless accumulating in the placenta,” Salmond said.

More than 90 percent of children live in environments where the outdoor concentration of airborn pollutants exceed World Health Organization guidelines.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘You lost’: Internet mocks Trump for cheering on ‘great vote’ — that Republicans lost

Published

on

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee accidentally mistook a satirical article with a fake transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. While Schiff apologized for the error, Trump has called for his immediate impeachment.

Impeachment is outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the section of the founding document gives examples of what they meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors." It does not cite accidentally reading the wrong transcript aloud. Members of Congress cannot be impeached and censure is a toothless resolution that is meaningless.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Facebook reveals how Russia is already trying to manipulate the 2020 presidential election

Published

on

On Monday, in a series of announcements by Facebook, the company revealed it had shut down four new foreign interference operations originating from Russia and Iran. According to their announcement, one appears to be linked to the Russian troll agency, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and was targeting the U.S. 2020 presidential election.

The company removed 50 Instagram accounts and one account on Facebook that originated in Russia and focused primarily on the United States.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Republicans’ laughable effort to attack Adam Schiff lands with a thud

Published

on

Republicans' effort to castigate California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee spearheading the impeachment inquiry, met a quick and sudden defeat on Monday in a vote of 218-185.

Spurred on by President Donald Trump's attacks on the chairman, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led an effort to censure Schiff on the House floor. On what grounds? It's almost too absurd to make up: lying.

The party of Donald Trump — who lied more times in the hours before the censure vote than Schiff even stands accused of — actually claimed that it's the California lawmaker who should be called out for dishonesty.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image