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Ozone May Be Bad for Baby

PHOTO: A new long-term study is adding to the growing evidence suggesting that air pollution is tied to premature birth and other health risks for pregnant women and babies.
PHOTO: A new long-term study is adding to the growing evidence suggesting that air pollution is tied to premature birth and other health risks for pregnant women and babies.
February 15, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new long-term study in Sweden is adding to the growing evidence suggesting that air pollution is tied to premature birth and other health risks for pregnant women and babies.

The study examined 121,000 women who had first trimester exposure to ozone and found a significant increased risk of premature birth and other health risks for moms to be and their newborns.

Stephanie Trusty, a nurse clinician with the Iowa Department of Public Health, says drawing any conclusions is tricky because there are so many variables that could account for the results but she wouldn't discount ozone levels either.

"(At) the Department of Public Health, we pay attention to the ozone levels in Iowa,” she says. “But for the most part our levels are well within the recommendations from the federal government. "

Trusty says while the study raises some questions about ozone exposure there are also plenty of advantages for pregnant women to get fresh air.

"Certainly advantages for pregnant women to be outside breathing fresh air and exercising too, so it's really a delicate balance,” she says. “If it was just one day, then staying in that day could be a good idea."

The study suggests that pregnant women minimize their ozone exposure by avoiding heavy traffic areas on hot dry days when ozone levels are at their peak.


Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA