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Study: Air Pollution Linked to 2.7m Premature Births Per Year

Traffic fumes, slash-and-burn farming and open wood stoves are raising the risk of babies being born before they are ready.

As many as 2.7 million premature births a year – 18% of the global total – can be linked to outdoor air pollution, a study in Environment International found.

When women give birth at less than 37 weeks, their offspring are more likely to die in infancy or suffer from learning difficulties, hearing and sight problems through their life.

“This study highlights that air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly – it may also seriously affect a baby in its mother’s womb,” said Chris Malley, lead author of the study.


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