Analysts have studied birth records and air quality data around premature births within the U.S. Premature new born attributed to air pollution costs over $4 billion annually. These costs represent the loss of economic opportunity and medical care. There are approximately 16,000 babies born prematurely yearly in part due to air pollution. Birth records also confirmed that loss of productivity and wages as a result of premature babies is approximately $3.6 billion. There are also further costs of $760 million for protracted hospitalizations and long-term medications, researchers have calculated. These costs are relevant to the early years of life re: intensive care unit and the loss of economic productivity. Developmental disabilities along with the loss of cognitive potential is also a contributory factor.

Babies that are born post 37 weeks are considered to be full term. The main problems typically facing newborn are digestive function coupled with breathing difficulties. Impaired vision is also seen as a long term challenge. Behavioral and social problems are also a cause for concern. Pre term birth rates in the U.S. fell in 2013 to 11.4%. This had fallen from a peak in 2006 of 12.8%. However these figures remain much higher than other considered developed countries. Birth records and corresponding data have been drawn from the Institute of Medicine, Centers for Disease control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. A build up of toxins (air pollution) in blood can weaken the immune system and placenta thus restricting the time in the womb.

Birth records confirmed urban states fared worse. Especially air pollution in the Eastern U.S. and Southern California. The authors noted that premature birth can not be inextricably linked to air pollution and/or the correlation. There was also a lack of data in connection to individual exposure. This may influence the level of toxins impacting the outcome of pregnancy. Cleaner air technology and an increase in public transport has been cited as measures to improve air quality. Other incentives would be siting day care and schools away from highways. Encouraging walking and cycling is also a positive ideal. For further reference and comprehensive report please follow this link.

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