Particulate Matter; The Silent Killer in Newborns


by Naba Batool

10 Best Activities



This fact is more prevalent in middle to low-income countries. Outdoor air pollution is responsible for 4.2 million deaths annually. The stats are equally frightening for indoor pollution with 3.8 million reported deaths.

“The air pollution-attributable burden is enormous, yet with sufficient effort, it could be largely mitigated,” says Dr. Gosh.


A recent study has provided a new and in-depth analysis of air pollution. Air pollution has escalated the mortality rate of infants. 6 million premature births and approximately 3 million underweight infants can be traced back to the horrendous impacts of air pollution.

A group of scientists from the University of California, San Fransico, and the University of Washington in Seattle hailed this jarring research. In 2019, air pollution was the main culprit in both premature births as well as underweight infants. This study is the first of its kind as it has analyzed the impacts of indoor and outdoor air pollution on the growth of fetuses. 

It is not just the outdoor pollution that is toxic for the babies, indoor pollution shares the same burden of responsibility.

According to the statistics of the preterm births by WHO, 15 million mothers undergo the process of premature birth. The complications that arise during the process are the primary reason for increased newborn deaths. This research has successfully found the existing link between air pollution and perinatal health indicators such as gestational age at the time of birth, weight at the time of birth, low than average birth weight, and preterm birth.

Large amounts of Particulate Matter that are present in air pollution are the silent killers of these newborns. Both epidemiological and toxicological studies helm this compound as the toxic one. Raging industrial advancements and high dependence on fossil fuels are the reasons for this toxic addition to the natural air.

At this current moment, the need to educate pregnant women is more apparent than ever. The burden also falls on the authorities to bring their best foot forward by devising policies that make sure that the world is one step closer to breathe properly. Dr. Gosh also stated that:

“A comprehensive global burden assessment is the best scientific evidence a researcher can provide to the policymakers for action. The previous global burden assessment included outdoor PM2.5 air pollution only. Without considering household PM2.5 air pollution, we are only partially estimating the burden.”