• Swansea University, UK
    Swansea University, UK
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Researchers at Swansea University have launched a major study to discover how everyday pollution impacts on the development and health of fetuses and children.

The study Includes indoor spaces. It is designed to determine how air pollution exposures of pregnant women pass to the baby and affect organ development, leading to poor health in childhood.

The new study will be the first to track how the function of different organs such as the lungs and brain is impacted by pollution in the home, work, and other indoor places, exploring how pregnant women might respond differently to air pollution.

Previous studies have shown that air pollution can impact the size of babies and premature birth.

Professor of Human Immunology at Swansea University, Cathy Thornton, said researchers will work directly with women and children.

To conduct the study, biological samples will be obtained from pregnant volunteers at various trimesters, with scientists then analysing the effects of airborne materials on the samples.

The samples will be exposed to PM2.5, alone and in combination with other airborne materials such as pollen and viruses.

The team will also measure natural exposures in the homes of pregnant women, how women respond to this environment and then follow the health of their babies as they grow up.

The four-year project is a first.

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, UKRI’s Clean Air champion, said poor air quality affects millions of lives, but the impact of pollutants indoors is not understood.

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