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Prenatal exposure to air pollution causes chromosomal damage

Pregnant mothers who are constantly exposed to air pollutions of big// cities may harm their unborn child by the air they inhale.

Inhalation of polluted air of the metros can change the chromosomes of the fetus in womb. Pollutant particles emitted from the cars, trucks, buses, tobacco smoke, combustion etc can penetrate the placenta enough to harm the chromosome of the fetus.

The research conducted by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, US, had studied 60 newborns of the New York City to assess the damage caused by the pollution. The portable air monitors the pregnant women had worn during the last trimester of their pregnancy assessed the exposure to pollutants. They also had answered questionnaires giving details of the kind of pollutants they might be exposed to.

Genetic alterations that happen in babies had been linked with incidence of leukemia and other forms of cancer in later life. Researchers feel there may be more health hazards related to chromosomal changes that are yet to be discovered.

The study will be published in a future issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

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