Soot and dust alter thyroid development in fetuses before they are born in smoggy cities, raising concern about health impacts later in life, new USC research shows. It means before a doctor cuts the umbilical cord or a parent hugs a baby or a sibling gazes at the newest member of the family, the caress of air pollution already reached the womb's inner sanctum.
The timing couldn't be worse, as the researchers found that no matter when they checked, thyroid impacts were evident until the final month of gestation. This is one of the few studies to monitor air pollution effects on a developing fetus and the first to track pollution changes month by month on thyroid hormones. The newly published research paper appears in JAMA Network Open.