Research: Pollution also reaches the fetus’s organs

“Previous research by our team has already shown that soot particles can be found in the placenta during all three stages of pregnancy,” says Hasselt scientist Tim Nauru. “Now we see that these soot particles don’t stay there, but actually end up in the fetus’s organs.” It includes the liver, lungs, and even the brain, Nauert says.


Research fellow Paul Fowler of Aberdeen says the fact that they enter the developing brain is particularly troubling. This means that these nanoparticles come into contact with and can interact with the entire network of cells and organs in the fetus’s body through the brain.

Air pollution has often been associated with an additional risk of stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight and poor brain development, they teach in Hasselt.

further investigation

“This study proves once again the importance of reducing the emission of soot particles, especially from the combustion of fossil fuels,” say the researchers at the Flemish University website. They want to study more and unravel the mechanisms behind these health risks.

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