Pollution in China causes Birth Defects?

During Pregnancy – Pollution in China has been held responsible for birth defects in newborns and also to the rising number of stillbirths and aborted foetuses. Coal smoke, pesticides and environmental pollution stunt the development of the

Arpita De
PregnancyWritten by: Arpita DePublished at: Aug 26, 2011
Pollution in China causes Birth Defects?

Enough cannot be said about the health hazard of smoke and pollutants especially during the tender stages of pregnancy. Now a study conducted in China has backed up the fact that pollutants indeed leads to birth defects in newborns. A constant cause of worry for medical professionals has been the exposure of pregnant women to a variety of smokes which emanate from sources such as coal, pesticides and also cigarettes. And the study seemed to have further established that there is sufficient proof to our worst nightmare; neural birth defects, stillbirths and miscarriages happen due to pollution.


  • It is a proven fact that along with oxygen, other gaseous elements can also find their way into the placenta by breaching its walls.
  • Exposure to these elements especially during the second month of pregnancy when vital organs such as the heart develop is an alarming situation.
  • According to the Chinese research, when pregnant women get exposed to polluting irritants such as coal smoke, hexachlorocyclohexane and endosulfan, their unborn baby bears the brunt of it.
  • This fact has been made evident in the process of research wherein 80 newborn babies and aborted foetuses which had neural tube defects along with other birth defects were compared with 50 healthy babies whose mothers’ were not exposed to any kind of smoke during the tenure of their pregnancy.
  • It was seen that the health of newborns and foetuses is significantly affected by the kind of pollutants that their mothers’ come into contact with.
  • It was also seen that women who were exposed to coal smoke were 4.5 more likely to deliver aborted foetuses or babies with birth defects.


One thing that has to be kept in mind here is the fact that the findings of the research are not just limited to China. Environmental pollution is a major contributing factor of birth defects in newborns. Whether it is the smoke from burning coal or carbon monoxide and industrial waste pollution, they are detrimental to the complete and fully rounded developed of an unborn child. Therefore, the need of the hour is to look at ways of implementing safeguard measures which can ensure the safety of pregnant women and their unborn babies. The onus is on us; to reduce waste and to make sure that the environment where we dream of ushering in future generations is at least worthy of them.


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