Pollution particles can 'cross the placenta'
Particles of black carbon - or soot - can cross the placenta, a study has found.

The Nature Communications research is the first direct evidence the particles can get into the part of the placenta that feeds the developing fetus.

It could be the first step to explaining why high pollution is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weights. Experts said women could take measures such as avoiding busy roads. But they warned tackling air pollution could be achieved at a "policy level" only.

Oxygen and nutrients cross from the maternal placenta to the fetal placenta and are then carried to the fetus via the umbilical cord. Waste products from the fetus, such as carbon dioxide, pass back the other way.

Substances such as alcohol, nicotine and other drugs are known to be able to cross the placenta, which is why women are advised to avoid them during pregnancy.

The scientists in this study looked at placentas from five pre-term and 23 full-term births.

Using high-resolution imaging, they found black carbon particles on the fetal side in each of the placentas studied.
The 10 mothers who lived closest to busy roads, and who had been exposed to highest levels of pollution during pregnancy had the highest levels of particles in the placenta, compared with the 10 who had been exposed to the lowest and lived at least 500m (1,600ft) away from a busy road.

The researchers suggest the particles travel from the mother's lungs to the placenta.

'Plausible mechanism'
Writing in the journal, the scientists, from Hasselt University, in Belgium, led by Prof Tim Narwot, said: "Our results demonstrate that the human placental barrier is not impenetrable for particles.

"Further research will have to show whether the particles cross the placenta and reach the fetus" and if that "represents a potential mechanism explaining the detrimental health effects of pollution, from early life onwards", they added.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49719085
R●●●●a P●●●●●●●●●●●●e and 3 others like this1 share
Dr. V●●●●●●j D●●●i
Dr. V●●●●●●j D●●●i Legal Medicine
Logically, it is hard to believe that carbon/soot particles can cross an intact (non-damaged) placental membrane. The findings may be erroneous; they need further meticulous evaluation, before accepting those as authentic verified knowledge.
Sep 28, 2019Like