Washington: Pregnant women who live near freeways or main roads are more likely to give birth prematurely, say researchers. An international study, led by Queensland University of Technology, has provided a strong link between the two. The study involved 970 mothers and newborn babies from Logan city, south of Brisbane in Australia. The research has revealed that infants are born earlier when their mothers are living within 400 metres of clusters of freeways and main roads. It shows pregnancy times were reduced by 4.4 per cent, from 40 weeks to 38.2 weeks. The research team involved in the study suggests thatair pollution may be the major factor leading to the numbers of premature births.
The team plans to undertake a similar cohort study to investigate the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on birth outcomes and respiratory symptoms in early life. PTI