(CNN/WTNH) — A new study suggests that pregnant women exposed to higher levels of pollution may face an increased risk of experiencing a “silent miscarriage” in their first trimester.
A silent miscarriage occurs when a fetus hasn’t formed or has died but the placenta and embryonic tissue remain.
The study, published Monday in Nature Sustainability, focused on data from more than 250,000 pregnant women in Beijing between 2009 and 2017.
Researchers found that women who lived in areas with higher levels of concentrated pollution — sulfur dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide — saw a greater risk of miscarriage.
The authors thought that was because these tiny particles can cross the maternal-fetal blood barrier and disrupt fetal growth and development, CNN reports.
They also found that there was a connection between pollution and health problems like hypertension and pre-eclampsia.