Health Impacts Of Air Pollution Across the Life Course

by Achim Haug

Nearly everyday we learn about new negative health impacts from air pollution, particularly from fine particles like PM2.5 and for quite some time, I wanted to make a list of all these impacts with link to studies with evidence. So I was quite happy to see that researchers from the Imperial College’s Environmental Research Group published a paper last week titled “Impacts of air pollution across the life course”.

The report summarizes the health impacts at key stages of life development as following:

Pregnancy and birth outcomes:

  • Fetal development
  • Low birth weight
  • Gestational age and preterm births
  • Miscarriage
  • Sperm count and mobility

The developing child: from birth, through Adolescence:

  • Lung growth
  • Asthma
  • Blood pressure
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Inattention and hyperactivity
  • Mental health and illness


  • Early death
  • Cardiac health
  • Stroke
  • Brain and mental health
  • Respiratory health
  • Cancer
  • Multiple chronic illnesses

All of these health impacts are described in detail with links to supporting studies, and I highly recommend this paper.

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