PM2.5 and Pregnancy

Did you know that PM2.5 can impact the health of your baby even before he or she is born? In a study, researchers explored the link between a mother’s exposure to PM2.5 and the prevalence of ASD.

The health of a child from 0 - 9 months is usually dependent, and also affected, by what a pregnant mother does. Most mothers know to avoid the usual pregnancy no-no’s: don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t take certain drugs as long as you are pregnant.

But most women don’t know that breathing in polluted air can also cause damage to their babies, even before they are born. For this reason, they don’t wear pollution masks and even when they do, the masks are not effective against PM2.5.


Cambridge Mask™ is highly effective in protecting you and your baby from particulate pollution, as well as bacteria and viruses

Because PM2.5 are very small in diameter, they can penetrate the cells of a growing fetus causing a developmental disease called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Though scientists confirm that genes have a part to play in the prevalence of ASD, it’s the increasing air pollution that all moms need to worry about. To protect your baby against ASD, you have to wear an effective pollution mask when pregnant.

Scientific research shows air pollution can cause ASD in your baby

In 1989, scientists began studies on the effects of particulate matter in unborn children. Participants in the study were children born between 1990 and 2002, to a group American nurses living in different parts of the US.

Of the children born in this period, 245 had ASD and 1522 did not have ASD. Most of the children who had ASD lived in areas close to freeways, where there’s more vehicle pollution. The scientists were also able to conclude that the biggest risk lies in exposure during the third trimester.

The scientists noticed the following symptoms in the children affected:

  • Neurotoxicity - or damage to the nervous tissue of a growing fetus
  • Oxidative stress - or the inability of a body’s cells to fight free radicals (what you may know as detox)
  • Mitochondria damage - the mitochondria generates energy needed for the brain and body to function.
  • Damage to the immune system of a new born

So what can you do, especially if you are living in heavily polluted countries like China or India?

According to reports from Green peace Asia, the levels of PM2.5 reported in the first half of 2015 were 16% lower than those reported in the first half of 2014. This reduction is attributed to the continued commitment by the Chinese government to reduce pollution levels.

But even with such notable reductions, levels of PM2.5 in the air still vary between ‘unhealthy’ to ‘very unhealthy’ on a day to day basis. Yearly levels of premature deaths related to air pollution also still remain high, with Green peace estimating that 1 out of 7 deaths reported in cities is related to air pollution. Not to mention, cancer is now also being reported among children. The Telegraph reported in October 2014 about the case of an 8-year-old Chinese girl, who was the youngest person diagnosed with lung cancer in China. We might hear of similar cases in the future, especially if people keep walking around wearing the wrong masks.


Make sure you and your child are protected from pollution by wearing Cambridge Mask’s™ pollution masks

The key take away for any mother and mother to be, is the need to get pollution masks that are effective, in order to protect themselves and their children. The fact of the matter is, surgical masks, homemade masks or most other masks that you buy in the supermarket are not effective against particulate matter.

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