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Study discovers connection between pollution and birth weight

When a woman learns she is expecting a child, she probably takes certain steps to ensure the safety and health of her baby. She may stop consuming certain foods and beverages and may refrain from participating in very strenuous activities. There are some things that an expecting mother has little control over, though.

Air pollution is something that is present in most towns and cities, regardless of size. Vehicles, factories, and power plants all contribute to the levels of air pollution in a community. These sources of pollution are so large and established that avoiding air pollution entirely can be difficult if not impossible.

A recent multinational study discovered a correlation between exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and lower birth weight of infants. The study's results show that "for every 10-microgram increase of pollution particles per cubic meter of air, birth weight decreased by 8.9 grams, roughly one-third of an ounce, and infants were 3 percent more likely to be a low birth weight." If an infant weighs less than 5 pounds 8 ounces at birth, he or she has a low birth weight.

The study's results do not mean that every woman who is exposed to pollution during pregnancy will give birth to a child with a low birth weight, however the large-scale trend shows that there is some sort of correlation between pollution and birth weight.

A low birth weight can lead to additional problems and can put an infant at risk of death. So, while mothers can do everything within their power to ensure their child is not exposed to harmful substances during pregnancy, factors like air pollution are often outside of a person's control.

The results of this study demonstrate that there is the potential for the environment around us to influence our health and development. If a person is exposed to harmful substances as a result of another person or group's negligence or failure to control the spread of the substance, there may be a basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Yahoo News, "Air pollution may lower birth weight," Lindsey Konkel, Feb. 6, 2013

To learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit, please visit our Madison County personal injury website.

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