Exposure to Urban Air pollution Affect Growing Fetus

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Nothing else can produce the joy , love an incomparable feeling that Motherhood allows. Being a mother is the most beautiful emotion in the world. It is something that has to be felt and can never be described in the words.

When baby comes to a women’s life starting from day first she came to know about her pregnancy, she tries to keep baby happiness and well being ahead of her own. Being a mom I understand that for our babies we do everything to keep them healthy and safe.

My motive of writing this article is to provide information how little negligence can affect developing fetus. As we all know pollution affects are indeed many and wide ranging. There is no doubt that excessive level of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human, animal health and environment.

Many of us already would be aware of fact that air pollution exposure to expectant mother’s can affect growing baby’s lungs and respiratory system but our concern doesn’t stop here.

The evidence that air pollutants can alter chromosomes in womb is troublesome since other studies have validated  this type of genetic alteration. Exposure to high level of pollution in  womb may lead to a type of DNA damage associated with ageing called telomere shortening.

What are Telomere? Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes like the plastic tip at the end of shoelaces. Without telomeres DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t perform their functions.Telomere length represents our biological age. Scientific studies have confirmed the strong connection between short telomeres and cellular aging.

Affects of telomere shortening? Causes age related breakdown of cells and linked with cancer, heart disease and premature death and also contribute to behavioural and cognitive problems later in childhood. “An individual’s telomere length at birth is known to influence their risk for disease decades later during adulthood,” said Deliang Tang , Professor at the Columbia University  in the US.

Ways to minimise the risk of exposure:

  • to be moms can’t easily change the place where they live or work but can avoid directly inhaling exhaust (PAHs) from cars on busy streets or smoke from fireworks.
  • pay attention to the outdoor air quality warnings. if there is warning in your area stay indoors.
  • air quality is worse in the afternoon.  refrain from any physical activity at that time or plan for alternate times.
  • avoid areas of burning fuels.
  • use mask wherever possible.
  • talk to your doctor if you live in high risk area.

even the reduction of exposure from moderately high to moderate level would have a positive effect on developing fetus.

There is need of policymakers at central, state, local level to take appropriate steps to protect our children from these avoidable exposures.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ― Gautama Buddha

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