The first report of possible pollution particles in placentas was presented at a conference in September , though the composition of the particles had not been confirmed.
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The detection of the particles on the foetal side of the placental barrier means it was very likely the foetuses were exposed, Nawrot said. Work to analyse foetal blood for particles is now under way, as is research to see if the particles cause DNA damage. The team also found black carbon particles in the urine of primary school children. The study, published in , found an average of 10 million particles per millilitre in hundreds of nine-toyear-olds tested.
There can be very high levels next to busy roads, but just a few metres away can be lower.
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A comprehensive global review found that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the human body. It causes issues from heart and lung disease to diabetes and dementia, and from liver problems and bladder cancer to brittle bones and damaged skin. The systemic damage is the result of pollutants causing inflammation that then floods through the body, and from ultrafine particles being carried around the body by the bloodstream.
In the UK, while deaths attributed to air pollution have halved in the last four decades, most urban areas have illegal levels of air pollution. One in 20 deaths in the UK is still attributable to small particle pollution alone. Damian Carrington , Environment editor. Air pollution research now shows full scale bodily harm, from heart and lung disease to diabetes and reduced intelligence to brittle bones and damaged skin.
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