Clean air is important for all of us. Pollution can cause heart disease, lung problems, and even affect your mood. But, pregnant women who breathe in dirty air face even more serious health risks for both themselves and their unborn babies. That’s where air purifiers come in. A high-quality air purifier with a True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter can eliminate harmful particles and gases from your indoor air.
Here are the top 5 reasons that every pregnant woman should use an air purifier.
Low Birth Weight
Babies who weigh less than 5lbs 8oz at birth are considered underweight. Low birth weight increases the risk of chronic poor health, impaired mental development, and even infantile death.
Multiple studies around the world have shown a link between air pollution and low birth weight. One of these studies, conducted over a 7-year time span in California, analyzed over 3.5 million birth records of full-term infants. What they found was that women who lived within 100 meters of major roadways (which are a major source of pollution) were significantly more likely to give birth to underweight babies.
Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered pre-term. Preterm babies are prone to long-term intellectual and developmental disabilities and problems with their lungs, brain, eyes, and other organs. About 1 in 4 cases of infant death are related to preterm birth and low birth weight (which often go hand in hand).
Studies show that about 2.7 million preterm births globally (18% of all preterm births) were associated with pollution, primarily in the form of PM2.5. PM2.5 are composed of a mixture of solid and liquid particles that are suspended in the air. They are especially dangerous because they’re easily inhaled and able to penetrate deeply into your respiratory system, causing an array of serious health issues.
There has been a lot of speculation as to what’s caused the huge increase in autism rates in the last few decades. While the factors are numerous and far from clear-cut, it seems likely that air pollution is one of the major culprits. A Harvard study showed that women exposed to high particulate PM2.5 pollution during their third trimesters were twice as likely to deliver a child with autism—especially if they lived near a highway
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure that develops after the 20th week of pregnancy is called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia has been linked to kidney, liver, blood, and brain damage to the mother and serious, even fatal, complications for both mother and baby.
Multiple studies have linked an increase in blood pressure with exposure to PM2.5.
Lung Development Issues
Exposure to air pollution may affect lung development. This can happen directly while the baby is in the womb, or indirectly when preterm labor causes a baby whose lungs are not fully functional to be born. Poorly developed lungs can lead to long-term respiratory issues and even death.
Exposure to air pollution aggravates the symptoms of asthma. This is particularly concerning because unchecked asthma can lead to preeclampsia, which is dangerous for both mother and child.
Because PM2.5 are able to breach the placenta, exposure to air pollution while pregnant can also increase the baby’s risk of developing asthma later in life. .
Stillbirth is an extremely tragic situation in which a baby dies after 20 weeks of gestation. One 2018 study established a correlation between exposure to air pollution and stillbirth, particularly if the exposure happened during the third trimester of pregnancy.
As you can see, poor air quality presents many serious risks for both mother and baby. Unfortunately…
Some air purifiers actually make the problem worse!
While air purifiers are often touted as a safe way to keep your indoor air clean, the truth is that the wrong air purifier can actually make things worse. Besides PM2.5, ozone is the type of pollution most closely linked with low birth weight and other pregnancy risks. Unfortunately, many air purifiers actually emit varying levels of ozone.
For a safe, healthy way to keep your indoor air clean, look for a high-quality air purifier that uses True HEPA and activated carbon filters.