Fine dust gets into the placenta

If mothers breathe during pregnancy fine dust can get through the lungs into the bloodstream and possibly to the fetus. Researchers from the Hasselt University in Belgium have shown that carbon particles on the child-facing side of the placenta.

The scientists examined after delivery, the placenta tissue of ten mothers who live in a place with high air pollution and compared it with the ten placenta samples from mothers living in an area with less air pollution. Their results are now published in the scientific journal “Nature Communications”.

The placenta, also placenta is the tissue in the uterus, the unborn child of vital nutrients and oxygen while in the mother’s womb grows. It is made of embryonic and maternal tissue. The placenta also acts to separate the maternal and childlike blood of each other. As a fabric filter allows or prevents the so-called placental barrier, is that different in the blood dissolved substances to the fetus can get.

The amount of the carbon particles in the placentas was, therefore, measurable with the strength of the air pollution that has been exposed to the mother during pregnancy. In addition, the scientists were able to demonstrate that the carbon particles are already in the twelfth week of pregnancy, in the placenta. For this, they analysed births in the tissue of five placentas to fail.

“This is one of the most vulnerable Phase of life,” quoted the British “Guardian” the study leader, Tim Nawrot. “All organ systems are in development.” In order to protect future generations, would require governments to reduce air pollution. People should also avoid, in the vicinity of busy roads and stop.

Air pollution can have a negative impact on fetuses

“We know for a Long time that environmental factors such as air pollution or cigarette smoke have an impact on the growth of the fetus,” says the biologist Torsten Plösch of the University hospital in Groningen, is not involved in the investigation. The study of the Belgian colleagues show for the first time, that carbon particles can penetrate from the environment into the fetal side of the placenta. “The list of pollutants that can potentially cause harm to the fetus,” says Plösch is extended.

That air pollution affects the development of babies during pregnancy, have already been a number of studies. A high loading with particles such as carbon, caused by combustion, is brought, therefore, with a lower rate of growth of the fetus, lower birth weight and higher risk for miscarriages in connection. Also, the fine particulate pollution affects lung development and function of the newborn, such as scientists from the University hospital inselspital in Berne reported in 2013.

The findings of the Belgian researchers, however, say nothing about the harmful influence of the particles on the development of the Unborn. It can only deduce that the fine dust particles can disturb the function of the placenta, and indirectly to the growth of the fetus, or that you could pass through the placenta into the fetus.

Because the scientists do not have the umbilical cord blood of the child is sought – after fine dust particles. Also, the results do not provide evidence on whether the particles enter into interactions with cells of the placenta. The study could, therefore, provide no direct evidence, so Plösch, that the carbon particles are causal consequences for negative long-term: “It is but suspect at least that there is a further factor in the long series of pollutants, we ought to avoid in pregnancy.”

Fine dust is proven to damage in the body

In Europe, a limit value of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air, annual average for fine dust particles with a size less than 2.5 micro meters (PM 2.5) is valid. In the USA, it is significantly lower, only 10 micro allows grams, this corresponds to the recommendation of the WHO.

The Problem with the fine dust: The smaller the particles the further they penetrate into the body when they are inhaled. The ultra-fine particles can pass into the bloodstream and so, in principle, all regions of the body to reach and cause damage there.

Fine dust is irritating to respiratory tract and mucous membranes, so that he can make respiratory problems such as cough, shortness of breath and Asthma, arise or intensify. Also in the development of lung cancer, the particles can be involved. If you do not enter the blood, they also damage the risk for cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac arrhythmia, hardening of the arteries and heart attacks increases.