More sad news: Even unborn children suffer from the sins their elders commit against the environment. A recent study in the Netherlands found that fetuses exposed to residential air pollution had brain abnormalities that could explain their poor performance in school.
The study, as reported in Biological Psychiatry, states that air pollution is linked to changes in the brain. Researchers observed pregnant women and followed their children from fetal life and beyond. Dr. Monica Guxen of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and her team studied pollution levels in the pregnant women's homes. Six to eight years after the babies were born, the research team performed brain imaging. They found abnormalities in the thickness of the brain cortex.
Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry remarks, "Air pollution is so obviously bad for lungs, heart, and other organs that most of us have never considered its effects on the developing brain. But perhaps we should have learned from studies of maternal smoking that inhaling toxins may have lasting effects on cognitive development."
This is because a fetus' brain is not yet well-developed to fight the harmful effects of environment toxins. At its worst, air pollution can even lead to permanent brain damage.
Prevention, as always, starts at home. Protect yourself and your loved ones from air pollution by taking these steps.
Pulmonologist Dr. Sumita Khatri says they're also especially harmful to people suffering from asthma and chronic sinusitis. She also warns that the chemicals can trigger allergies.
Air pollution is a strong, silent killer. The end to this problem is nowhere in sight, even as we -- and our children -- pay the heavy price of progress. Let's protect ourselves, and the unborn from this deadly force that threatens our life, and the way we live it, before it's too late.