Pollution can lower your baby’s birth weight, say researchers

Researchers of Sri Ramchandra University in Chennai have conducted a research on the effect of the rising pollution on the foetus. If a pregnant woman is exposed to 10 microgram pollution, the baby's birth weight reduces by 4 grams


  • As the level of pollution is increasing with the change in weather condition, cities like Delhi and Mumbai are witnessing a rise in a lot of health issues.
  • Researchers at Sri Ramchandra University conducted research in Chennai and the surrounding two districts.
  • Since last five years, 1,200 women were studied.
  •  In the 10 micrograms pollution, the baby’s weight will be reduced by 4 grams.
  • Vehicular pollution is the major cause of the pollution.
  • This study has been published in the Scientific Journal of Environment.

Researchers placed a pollution measuring instrument in the women’s bedroom, kitchen and the living room. 50 per cent of women on whom the study was conducted, would spend 18 hours at home. After their delivery, the researchers examined the babies’ birth weight and their development.

According to the researchers, if the women in the villages get gas to cook food, the pollution can be reduced. . This will help to increase the weight of the baby by 70 gms. According to the central government, around 16 per cent of babies in India weigh 2.5 kgs during their birth.

Dr Rajiv Balan
Dr Rajiv Balan

Dr Rajiv Balan, a Mumbai-based  paediatrician said,”If the number of polluted gases in the pregnant woman’s body increases, then it can harm the foetus. This can affect the babies’ growth. The baby can develop breathing problems at birth. For this, pregnant women should not come in contact with dust and avoid walking in the crowded places.”

Dr Ashok Anand
Dr Ashok Anand

Dr Ashok Anand, head of department of Gynaecology at Sir JJ Group of Hospitals said, “Air pollution is harmful for health and invites a lot of diseases. It adversely affects the foetus and the organs of the baby. There can be birth defects as well.”