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Israeli study reveals correlation between fetal air pollution exposure, low birth weight

JERUSALEM, May 28 (Xinhua) -- A new Israeli study has found a connection between exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and low birth weight, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Led by HU researchers and published in the journal Science of The Total Environment, the study examined data from 84 global studies, highlighting the necessity for stricter air pollution regulations to shield vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant women and children.

It underscored the positive correlation between the density of PM 2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers), a key indicator of air pollution, and the likelihood of infants born underweight, a condition often associated with various health complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and developmental issues.

The research emphasized the profound impact of air quality on prenatal development, stressing the immediate need for more rigorous air pollution control measures.

Furthermore, it brought attention to the pronounced health risks posed by fine particulate matter commonly emitted from transportation and industrial activities.

The study also revealed significant regional disparities in the effects of air pollution on fetal development, indicating the necessity for tailored approaches to monitor and mitigate air pollution on a local level.

Of particular concern were the strong correlations observed in European studies, likely influenced by specific environmental and climatic factors, according to the research team.