Effects of Indoor Air Pollutants on Pregnancy

Expecting mothers often make changes to ensure their bodies are healthy. This is to make sure their body is healthy enough to carry a child and that their child will be born healthy. It’s common knowledge that whatever the mom goes through, the baby also experiences. That’s why it’s smart to take precautions to avoid birth defects. Mothers know to reduce fat and sugar intake, and increase physical activity. They stop drinking, smoking, and eating dangerous foods like soft cheese and fish with a lot of mercury. However, one factor that pregnant women may overlook is their home’s air quality. Pollutants in the air can affect women during their pregnancy and can also impact the unborn child’s health. 

Indoor Air Pollutants

Indoor air pollutants can actually be more dangerous than outdoor pollutants. An enclosed space without sufficient ventilation can be more toxic than a highly industrialized city. The EPA actually estimates that indoor air quality can be 2-5 times worse than outside. Pollutants like pet dander, mold, pollen, or other particulate matter brought into the house can create a toxic environment. 

Outdoor air can enter your home through infiltration, natural ventilation, or mechanical ventilation. If you start experiencing respiratory problems it’s an indicator that your ventilation system isn’t filtering air properly. An HVAC company like Ellis AC can get to work purifying the air in your home and getting rid of any harmful toxins. 

Birth Weight

Multiple studies show that infants born in areas with more pollution weigh less than those born in areas with good air. Mothers who are exposed to high levels of pollution during their first trimester are at risk of giving birth to an underweight baby

Premature Birth

Mothers who are exposed to excessive pollutants are also at risk for giving birth prematurely. Babies that are born before the 37th week of the gestational period are at an increased risk of neurological disorders and physical disabilities. The infant may experience trouble breathing, heart problems, temperature irregularities, and an underdeveloped digestive system. Premature birth can be fatal, and many babies need to be supervised by a team in the NICU for around-the-clock care. 


According to a Harvard study, mothers who inhale too much particulate matter during the third trimester are twice as likely to have a child on the Autism spectrum. If mothers reduce their exposure to nitric oxide during pregnancy their child will be less at risk for autism and some cognitive functioning disorders. 


Mothers with uncontrolled asthma may experience high blood pressure which can lead to preeclampsia. They are also more likely to deliver their baby early. Exposure to air pollution during gestation can also increase the likelihood of the child developing asthma later in life. Research suggests that children are more at risk of developing asthma before the age of 5 if their mothers were pregnant in an area with a lot of traffic. 


Air pollutants can cause infertility or a spontaneous miscarriage. It’s important to take precautions because it’s difficult to know what you’re breathing in. 

Ellis AC

It’s important to maintain good air quality in your home at all times, but especially during pregnancy. If you’re experiencing respiratory problems or you’re getting sick more often than usual give Ellis AC a call or fill out a form to schedule a consultation. Our experts will inspect your home for ventilation problems and fix them. We are dedicated to maintaining your HVAC system and keeping you and your family safe.

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