Air pollution particles found in placenta: Study
Evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, has been found in placentas for the first time, in new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Previous research has indicated links between pregnant mothers' exposure to air pollution and premature birth, low birth weight, infant mortality and childhood respiratory problems.

The new study adds to existing evidence on the dangers of pollution for unborn babies and suggests that when pregnant women breathe polluted air, sooty particles are able to reach the placenta via the bloodstream.

The researchers worked with five pregnant women who were all living in London and due to have planned caesarean section deliveries at the Royal London Hospital. They were all non-smokers with an uncomplicated pregnancy and each one gave birth to a healthy baby. The women all gave permission for researchers to study their placentas after delivery.

The researchers were interested in particular cells called placental macrophages. Macrophages exist in many different parts in the body. They are part of the body's immune system and work by engulfing harmful particles, such as bacteria and pollution particles. In the placenta, they also help to protect the foetus.

The team studied a total of 3,500 placental macrophage cells from the five placentas and examined them under a high-powered microscope. They found 60 cells that between them contained 72 small black areas that researchers believe were carbon particles. On average, each placenta contained around five square micrometres of this black substance.

Read more here: https://pxmd.co/Y5JHJ
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