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expert reaction to study looking at carbon particles observed in the placenta

Research, published in Nature Communications, reports that carbon particles have been found in the fetal side of the placenta in women exposed to air pollution during pregnancy. 


Prof Andrew Shennan, Professor of Obstetrics, King’s College London (KCL), said:

“Small particles, such as through smoking, can cause considerable disease related to the placenta, and these findings of particles in the placenta are a concern. Their possible effects on the baby and mother warrant further investigation.

“The placenta is the interface between mother and baby and is key to nourishing and supporting all the needs of the baby. Both the function and structure of the placenta is important, not only to the baby’s growth and wellbeing, but also to that of the mother. High blood pressure and fits in pregnancy have been linked to house hold pollution.”


Ambient black carbon particles reach the fetal side of human placenta’ by Bové et al. was published in Nature Communications at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday 17 September. 

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11654-3


Declared interests

Prof Andrew Shannan: “No COI” 

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