Air pollution exposure and neonatal health

Prenatal air pollution exposure and neonatal health, published in the Health economics, makes an interesting retrospective on the issue

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Air pollution exposure and neonatal health

What is the main cause of air pollution? According to available studies, 75% of outdoor air pollution is produced by the processing and use of fossil fuels. Therefore, pollution in the world, and the causes of pollution reside in the lack of attention also in relation to the consumption of fossil fuels.

The most affected areas are large urban areas where industries, traffic and heating are concentrated. The phenomenon of smog is a consequence of air pollution in urban centres. It is a sort of acid smoke, rich in dust and irritating gases, which in winter appears like a pall in the lower layers of the atmosphere.

Among the main sources of release of pollutants into the atmosphere are industrial chemical plants, incinerators, internal combustion engines of motor vehicles and combustion in general. Pollutants play a role in many pathologies affecting the pulmonary, cardiovascular and immune systems.

Air pollution exposure and neonatal health

Prenatal air pollution exposure and neonatal health, published in the Health economics, makes an interesting retrospective on the issue. the researchers explained: "Air pollution has been shown to have adverse effects on many health outcomes including respiratory effects, cardiovascular effects, and mortality.

However, evidence on the effects of prenatal exposure is still limited. We investigate the causal impact of prenatal exposure to air pollution on neonatal health in Italy in the 2000s. We exploit variation in rainfall shocks to instrument for non-random air pollution exposure.Our empirical setting combines detailed information on mother's residential location from birth certificates with PM10 concentrations from air pollution monitors.T en additional units in the average PM10 level (approximately one standard deviation) would decrease birth weight by about 0.5% and gestational age by 0.16%, it would increase the prevalence of low birth weight by 22% and of preterm birth by 16%.

stronger in magnitude for third trimester exposure and for less educated mothers.These findings suggest that the health im pacts of air pollution on newborns are unequally distributed in the population."