For families who have suffered from pregnancy related conditions such as pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and small for gestational age babies, there may never be a good reason for why these conditions happen. This is often in part because many factors can contribute either singly or in tandem towards the development of conditions such as pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and babies who are small for gestational age. This week the list of risk factors was increased to include both particulate and molecular atmospheric pollutants. For many years, scientists and environmentalists have been concerned with the effects of increased air pollution. Research results from the ESCALA project have observed an increased risk of death resulting from increased exposure to particulate air pollutants less than or equal to 10 micrometers and ozone.
David Olsson and colleagues published findings this past week in the British Medical Journal Open suggesting an association between exposure to ozone during the first trimester of pregnancy and an increased risk for preterm delivery and the development of pre-eclampsia. This comes on the heels of a second study, published by Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, MPH in collaboration with the International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The ICAPPO researchers saw an association between particulate air pollution and delivering babies who were born small for gestational age. With this new research, it offers another reason to care for the environment in such a way that promotes health and well being for all.