Soot particles have been discovered in the placentas of pregnant women for the first time, leading scientists to warn that pollution may directly harm unborn babies.
Researchers discovered small black areas in the organ that surrounds the foetus in five mothers-to-be who were living in London.
Until now there has only been limited evidence that inhaled pollution particles can access the bloodstream via the lungs.
But the discovery of carbon particles in an organ so crucial for pregnancy helps explain data suggesting that women living in polluted areas are more prone to premature birth and having low-birthweight babies.
Assume that the particles can get into the blood. The placenta is where we’d rather hope that some such would get caught, that being what it is, a blood filter. And yes, OK, assume all of that and maybe we have found one of the reasons why air pollution causes low birth weights.
Now, I’ve no specialist knowledge at all so don’t know whether the basic assumption is sensible or not. BiG will know.
OK. Then there’s the joy of Telegraph reporting, the placenta surrounds the foetus, does it?
And then there’s the big point. Lucky we’ve reduced air pollution in recent decades then, isn’t it? Which presumable is why babies are bigger these days?