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SLU to study effects of air pollution on pregnant women in China

(via Flickr/Toehk)
Wuhan, China.

The Saint Louis University School of Public Health is launching a study to look at the effects of urban air pollution on pregnant women in China.

SLU epidemiologist Zhengmin Qian says the research will track the pregnancies of 100,000 women in Wuhan, a city of nine million people in central China.

“We are going to look at the health effects at different pollution levels, from no pollution [to] high pollution,” Qian said.

The goal is to find out whether women exposed to high levels of ozone, particulate matter and other air pollutants during pregnancy are more likely to have babies born prematurely or underweight.

Qian says most research on the health effects of air pollution has been done in the U.S. or Europe, not in developing countries where urban air pollution levels are typically much higher.

The study is being funded by the Chinese government and by the Health Effects Institute, a U.S. non-profit.

Locally, SLU is also participating in the National Children’s Study, which is investigating the effects of pollution on the health of children in the United States.

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