Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
September 19, 2019

Black carbon from air pollution found in placentas


September 19, 2019

PARIS: Black carbon particles typically emitted by vehicle exhaust and coal-fired power plants have been detected on the foetus-facing side of placentas, researchers said late on Tuesday.

The concentration of particles was highest in the placentas of women most exposed to airborn pollutants in their daily life, according to a study in Nature Communications. "Our study provides compelling evidence for the presence of black carbon particles originating from air pollution in human placenta," the authors said.

The findings, they added, offer a "plausible explanation for the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards." Air pollution is known to have potentially devastating impacts on children’s health.

The biggest risk is for low birth weight, which in turn increases the odds for diabetes, asthma, stroke, heart disease and a host of other conditions. But the biological explanation for how and why air pollution poses such a threat to newborns has long puzzled doctors.

"The new study sheds some light on this by showing that inhalation of black carbon particles can accumulate in the placenta," commented Christine Jasoni, director of the Brain Health Research Centre at the University of Otago in New Zealand, commenting on the study.

Scientists led by Tim Nawrot at Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium postulated that "black carbon particles are able to translocate from the mothers’ lungs to the placenta." Nawrot and his team used high-resolution imaging to examine the placentas of 23 full-term and five pre-term births.

Women who had been exposed to higher levels of black carbon particles -- averaging 2.42 micrograms per cubic metre -- showed significantly higher levels of particles in the placenta than ten mothers exposed to a quarter as much. Critically, traces of black carbon were found on the inward-facing side of the placenta, putting them in direct in contact with the developing foetus.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus