Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of cot death, new research suggests.
Exposure to fine-air particles, which weigh less than 0.0025mg and are given out in vehicle-exhaust fumes, is associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a UK study found.
Nitrogen oxide, which is released when fuel is burned, may also be behind seemingly healthy babies suddenly passing away, the research adds.
Previous research suggests fine-air particles enter people’s brains when they breathe and spread via their bloodstreams, leading to inflammation.
Children are thought to be more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution due to their fragile immune systems and underdeveloped lungs.
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes more than 3.7 million premature deaths every year.
SIDS is the leading cause of death among healthy babies aged between one and 12 months.
Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of cot death, new research suggests (stock)
DOES AIR POLLUTION INCREASE CHILDREN’S RISK OF ASTHMA?
Young children who grow up exposed to air pollution are more likely to develop asthma, research suggested in December 2017.
A mix of dust, sand and non-exhaust tailpipe emissions, known as coarse particulate matter, increases youngsters under 11’s risk of the lung condition by 1.3 per cent, a study by The Johns Hopkins University found.
Air pollution also raises their risk of visiting the emergency room due to their asthma by 3.3 per cent and being hospitalised with the condition by 4.5 per cent, the research adds.
Young children are thought to be more at risk due to them typically spending a lot of time outdoors and being vulnerable to air pollution due to their immature lungs, according to the researchers.
Around 7.1 million children in the US have asthma, making it the most common chronic childhood illness.
Approximately 1.1 million youngsters are affected in the UK.
The researchers analysed the asthma diagnoses and treatment data of 7,810,025 children aged between five and 20 years old living in 34 states between 2009 and 2010.
They estimated levels of coarse particulate matter in each zip code using information from the EPA’s Air Quality System database from 2009 to 2010.