Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Reasons to Reduce Use of Fossil Fuels: Premature Birth, Low Birth Weight, & Male Infertility

Guest post by Herbert-LaVance Cunning II

Recent studies suggest there are serious effects of air pollution towards human reproduction. The two reports from Brazil examined male infertility and women's complications in pregnancy and connected them with exposure to air pollution.

One study examined 748 male workers who inhaled the air from major public roads and reconstruction of highways.  Of those 748 men, 500 illustrated some negative change in fertility.  The cause is the heavy metals used in the fuel burned in vehicles; exposure "directly affects the body."  The study concludes, "air pollution is one of the modern causes of infertility male."

Another study examined 13,660 births in an area with high air pollution and calculated pollution exposure of the mothers. The results found that 9.1 percent of children born were below the ideal birth-weight and 7.4 percent were born prematurely.  The cause is exposure to high levels of ozone (O3), airborne particulate matter (PM10), and  sulfur dioxide (SO2).  The researcher concludes, "air pollution contributes significantly to premature birth and low birth weight."

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