Before the First Breath: Why Ambient Air Pollution and Climate Change Should Matter to Neonatal-Perinatal Providers
Common outdoor air pollutants present threats to fetal and neonatal health, placing neonatal-perinatal clinical specialists in an important role for harm reduction through patient counseling and advocacy. Climate change is intertwined with air pollution and influences air quality. There is increasing evidence demonstrating the unique vulnerability in the development of adverse health consequences from exposures during the preconception, prenatal, and early postnatal periods, as well as promising indications that policies aimed at addressing these toxicants have improved birth outcomes. Advocacy by neonatal-perinatal providers articulating the potential impact of pollutants on newborns and mothers is essential to promoting improvements in air quality and reducing exposures. The goal of this review is to update neonatal-perinatal clinical specialists on the key ambient air pollutants of concern, their sources and health effects, and to outline strategies for protecting patients and communities from documented adverse health consequences.
Leong, M., Karr, C. J., Shah, S. I., & Brumberg, H. L. (2023). Before the First Breath: Why Ambient Air Pollution and Climate Change Should Matter to Neonatal-Perinatal Providers. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41372-022-01479-2