It has been found that polluted air affects babies in the womb and thus causes premature births. The smog costs the medical establishment an estimated $4 billion annually.
Premature births in the US cost approximately $4 billion each year. These are mainly due to the high rates of air pollution. The palliative medications and health services that go into reducing the deleterious symptoms automatically cost the medical system a lot of money.
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Almost 16,000 babies get delivered before their time and have to be kept in incubators. Air pollution is probably the biggest culprit in this scheme of things.
Air quality and birth records data, from the Environmental Protection Agency, show a link. The premature babies cost about $3.6 billion in biological wastage and lifestyle havoc. The physical and psychological flaws left over from the botched births are a source of pain and misery.
$760 million goes towards lengthy hospitalizations and extended periods of drug consumption. During the first few years of the baby’s life, the costs incurred are monumental.
The time spent in an ICU setting along with later developmental difficulties add up to a disadvantage both economically and socially over the life span.
Pregnancy mostly lasts 40 weeks. However, in case of premature babies, breathing issues and feeding problems appear right from the beginning of their conception.
Other hitches along the way include: eyesight snags, hearing glitches and pitfalls having to do with mental progress. Later on behavior also becomes problematic so you can see the pattern of pain and complexity arising from something which could have been allayed.
Only if we kept the environment clean and pristine, such complications would not crop up in the first place. Over 3% of premature births in the US are due to air pollution.
An increase of toxins in the blood due to polluted air may lead to immunity issues in the pregnant mothers. Thus the placenta becomes weak and the baby is expelled prematurely from the womb.
Urban counties of the States had higher rates of premature births due to air pollution. However, there is a slight problem here. Since correlation does not equal causation, the two phenomena may not exactly be connected with each other. The link is this a weak one, yet it might turn out to be a causal one in the end.
Steps that will improve these dismal and dreary statistics include:
- providing cleaner sources of energy,
- using public transport instead of personal vehicles,
- building pathways for bicycles and pedestrians and
- the construction of schools and homes far away from highways.