Troubling Link Found between Pollution Exposure in Pregnancy, High Blood Pressure in Children
by Ariana Eunjung Cha (Washington Post) … In a paper published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension, researchers reported that children of mothers who were exposed in their third trimester to higher levels of fine particulate pollution — the tiny airborne matter that causes haze in many cities around the world — were at a 61 percent higher risk of elevated blood pressure.
The study of families in the Boston area involved 1,293 mothers and their children, ages 3 to 9. About 160 of the children had elevated blood pressure. Pollution levels were gauged by looking at home addresses and nearby Environmental Protection Agency monitors to measure air quality. Those readings are taken as often as every three days.
The highest level of pollution exposure the mothers experienced was 11.8 micrograms per cubic meter or greater, which is just below the EPA’s air-quality standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter. Exposures at higher levels are considered to be risky, but Mueller said the new study provides more support for maintaining or even lowering the standard to ensure that Americans are breathing healthful air. READ MORE Abstract (Hypertension)