SEOUL, June 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Pregnant women who experience high exposure to air pollutants face an increased risk of their babies developing both autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and epilepsy, a study showed Sunday.
A research team from Korea University Ansan Hospital conducted a study involving 843,134 pregnant women registered with the National Health Insurance Service’s big data service from 2016 to 2018.
The study aimed to examine the impact of air pollutants on fetuses.
The findings revealed that high exposure to sulfur dioxide during pregnancy increases the risk of the baby developing ASD and epilepsy by a factor of 3.7.
The highest risk was observed during the 8 to 10 months of pregnancy.
Furthermore, exposure to nitrogen dioxide also elevates the risk of ASD by 32 percent and epilepsy by 87 percent.
Exposure to air pollutants and heavy metal substances during pregnancy leads to inflammation and oxidative stress, which adversely affect fetal development by impeding the supply of adequate oxygen and nutrition.
Additionally, this exposure can induce DNA methylation, resulting in the improper functioning of certain genes in the fetus.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)