For the first time, researchers find that air pollution is making its way into unborn babies

An alarming study finds that air pollution breathed in by pregnant women is making its way to the fetus

The air we breathe is increasingly toxic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 99 percent of the global population inhales dirty air that exceeds their guideline limits, air that kills about 6.7 million people each year. For perspective, the WHO estimates that there were between 1.8 and 3 million deaths from COVID-19 in the year 2020. Although with the pandemic, official figures are likely an extreme undercount, the fact remains that air pollution is a prevalent, mostly invisible killer.

The problem is only getting worse. In the American Lung Association’s 2022 State of the Air report, they found that “nearly 9 million more [American] people were impacted by daily spikes in deadly particle pollution than reported last year.” Alarmingly, air pollution’s effects are not confined to the breathing, as a growing body of research suggests that air pollution worming its way into the bodies of fetuses and unborn babies vis-a-vis their mothers’ lungs.

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