University of Utah Says Air Pollution Can Increase the Risk of Miscarriage

Air pollution can increase the risk of miscarriage in women, according to health researchers from the University of Utah.

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Health Research Finds Link Between-Air pollutio and Miscarriage

A new study from the University of Utah Health published in December 2018 has found that pregnant women residing along the Wasatch Front are at an increased risk of miscarriage due to short-term exposure to air pollution.

The team of researchers has found that the higher levels of gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, which come from the burning of the fossil fuels, such as diesel, are linked to a 16 percent risk of a miscarriage in pregnant women. The study findings were published in the journal, “Fertility and Sterility.”

The study conducted by the University of Utah on 1,300 women (all of them living in Utah) who seek medical care at the emergency department following a miscarriage from 2007 to 2015. The findings concluded that air pollution spikes in small particulates, such as ozone and nitrogen dioxide, are associated with a 16 percent risk for miscarriage.

The findings highlight the health risks that have become a part of life in the Wasatch Front. More than 85 percent of Utah’s population lives in that region.

There have been long-term studies in the past, which revealed that air pollution could also harm a fetus and a newborn in several ways, such as low birth weight, organ damage, or preterm births.

Matthew Fuller, the head author of the study and the assistant professor of surgery at the University of Utah Health, said that air pollution has been found to have a negative impact on pulmonary as well as cardiac health. Fuller explained that short-term exposure to pollutants is enough to increase the risk of serious health consequences.

Taylor Hawk, a senior member of the University of Utah, stated, “It definitely has an impact.” “Living on campus, it’s the first thing I see in the morning, and my first thought is that I don’t want to have to walk across campus to get to class.” Hawk further emphasized on the point that we often ignore the air we breathe. Air pollution can have a serious impact on our overall health.

The mountainous geography of Utah may make the issue more visible and apparent, but the same harmful particulates people are exposed to can be found across the world. It is increasing at an alarming rate, as global temperatures and populations continue to rise in developed as well as developing nations.

Air quality has become a bipartite problem in Utah. The means of combating air pollution remain dissenting topic.

Matthew Fuller advises women concerned with pregnancy to check with their doctor about any health risks or concerns. Fuller further recommends being smart. For instance, if you go to work out and cannot clearly see outdoors, avoiding going out. Staying away from bad air is probably the best way of preventing exposure to air pollutants. According to Fuller’s recent findings, he suggests expanding and branching our research on this topic in other regions to elicit possible health risks developed by air pollution. Considering the impact of this study, Fuller said he would like to be a part of scientific dialogue with the legislature of Utah. However, he has not received any such proposal yet.