Pregnancy hypertension risk increased by traffic-related air pollution
Findings give new insights into the connection between poor air quality, children’s health, and mother’s health
A new report from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) suggests that traffic-related air pollution increases a pregnant woman’s risk for dangerous increases in blood pressure, known as hypertension.
NTP scientists evaluated published research on the link between traffic-related air pollution, or TRAP, and hypertensive disorders broken down by pollutant measurements of TRAP, such as particulate matter (PM2.5). PM is the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air, and PM2.5 refers to fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers or smaller. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter, about 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.
“What we found when we reviewed the literature is that exposure to PM2.5 from traffic emissions was associated with development of hypertensive disorders in pregnant women,” said Brandy Beverly, Ph.D., lead scientist and researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. “When these women are exposed to PM2.5 during their entire pregnancy, the likelihood of developing preeclampsia increases by about 50%.”
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022