Friday, April 25, 2014

Pollution Stemming from Burning Coal Linked to Higher Risk of Miscarriage

According to the findings of a recent investigation carried out by specialists with the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the United States and from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, there is evidence to suggest that environmental pollution resulting from burning coal can up a woman's risk to miscarry.

In a paper published in yesterday's issue of the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, researchers argue that exposure to pollutants released by coal when burned for heating may be a contributing factor to early fetal death.

This claim that burning coal for heating and breathing in the fumes that get released need be linked to a higher risk of miscarriage is based on information collected while keeping tabs on both air quality and pregnancy losses in Ulaanbaatar, i.e. Mongolia's capital and largest city.

As detailed on the official website for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, what the specialists who worked on this investigation focused on was comparing seasonal variations in environmental pollution to occurrences of pregnancy loss during certain times of the year.

It was thus discovered that, in 2011, the number of spontaneous abortions documented in this part of the world on a monthly basis upped from 23 per 1,000 live births in May to an impressive 73 per 1,000 live births in December.

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles researchers and their colleagues suspect that this increase in the number of spontaneous abortions recorded in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, back in 2011 need be linked to the fact that, towards the end of the year, the city's residents started burning more coal for domestic heating.

More precisely, they claim that, as coal burning for heating became common practice, pregnant women ended up being exposed to air pollutants. This is likely to have caused early fetal death, hence the high number of spontaneous abortions recorded in the month of December.

“We found that the incidence of miscarriage revealed a striking seasonal pattern of variation,” study leader David Warburton with The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles summed up the findings of this investigation.

“The disturbingly strong correlation between air pollution indices and fetal death that we found suggests that much more needs to be done to further ameliorate the toxic effects of air pollution on the human unborn,” he added.

In light of these findings, the specialists recommend that people in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia be provided with domestic heating options that are cleaner and safer than coal. More so given the fact that exposure to pollution caused by this fuel has been linked to several other health problems.

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