Air Pollution Linked to Thousands of Preterm Births
Researchers from New York University investigating the effects of air pollution have found that exposure to air pollution could be linked to more than 15,000 premature births every year costing the U.S. more than $4.3 billion annually.
About the Pollution Study
According to the Tech Times, researchers analyzed air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the preterm birth data kept by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There study concluded that the link between air pollution and premature births may be costing the nation’s economic productivity as much as $4.3 billion per year. The researchers combined new data, such as exposure rates to fine particle matter and the effects it has on risk for preterm birth, and concluded that 3.32 percent, or 15,808 premature births in 2010 may very well be linked to particulate matter exposure.
Increases in this type of air pollution are usually attributed to factories, traffic, and other industrial operations.
According to study author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics at the New York University’s School of Medicine, “The implications also spread beyond the United States to other parts of the globe where air pollution is likely to be more of a substantial problem.”
It was estimated by researchers from the National Academy of Science’s Institute of medicine that $760 million dollars was spent by the U.S. to cover the direct medical costs of premature births in a singly year.
Dangers of Air Pollution
Past studies have shown air pollution exposure may be linked a number of health conditions. Among the most serious are:
- Cardiovascular and respiratory problems
- Premature death
- Preterm birth