Home / Health and Science / Air Pollution Increases Pregnant Women’s Risk for High Blood Pressure

Air Pollution Increases Pregnant Women’s Risk for High Blood Pressure

By

A new study by the University of Florida shows that air pollution may be harmful to pregnant women and their unborn children.

Xiaohui Xu, the lead researcher on the study, looked at women who gave birth in Jacksonville between 2004 and 2005 and compared their data with daily air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The study conducted suggests that inhaling contaminated air may have some adverse effects on fetal development,” he said.

They found that women exposed to air pollution during their first two trimesters had an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and other hypertension disorders. The pollutants studied include carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, byproducts of car exhaust and industry respectively.

He said that avoiding air pollution may be difficult for pregnant women.

“I think for mothers dealing with an air pollution episode, like a forest fire or a traffic jam, the pregnant woman needs to avoid entering this area,” Xu said.

Although the effects of secondhand smoke on fetal development have been more thoroughly researched, with Xu’s research he believes that air pollution should be considered just as harmful as second-hand cigarette smoke.

Xu said he intends to extend his study into other cities in Florida and look at other conditions that can result from air pollution exposure during pregnancy.

“For the fetal development period, any change in the environment may have a long-term health consequence,” Xu said.

 

About Amanda Guillen

Check Also

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (right) holds a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 4, at the at the Hillsborough County Health Department after his decision to declare a state of emergency in five counties affected by the Zika virus. Scott explains his plan moving forward and the risk of pregnant women contracting the virus. (Zack Wittman/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Florida Gov: Prepare For Zika Virus Like It’s A Hurricane

Florida's governor says the U.S. government needs to prepare for the Zika virus like it's a hurricane.