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Diesel exhaust

Diesel exhaust exposure associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease for babies in the womb

Sunday, December 22, 2013 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: diesel exhaust, cardiovascular disease, prenatal exposure

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(NaturalNews) Upon conception, a child is born into the mother. From this point on, what the mother consumes, drinks, breathes and thinks become a part of the child inside her. The mother's air, food and water are passed to her precious new one, snuggled in the womb.

When the child arrives in the outside world, they may have already been exposed to months of various water contaminants, chemical water additives, engineered and processed foods, and airborne pollutants.

Airborne pollutants are hardest to avoid. A healthy environment is important, because life this small is more vulnerable to toxins. As mothers and fathers, we have a unique responsibility to protect life. While a fully grown adult may be able to handle a certain level of toxins, that same level of toxins poses greater risks for a much smaller and developing life.

It's disheartening to witness stillborn deaths and newborns brought into the world with handicaps and preconceived conditions.

A respect for life should begin with a demand for a healthier environment. Can humans creatively and competitively coexist without destroying the world around them?

For example, could bouts of diesel exhaust be replaced with healthier alternative forms of energy?

Our demand for energy and travel doesn't have to be a process of destroying the air we breathe. Abundant life is more important.

A new study finds that life in the womb can be adversely affected by something easily overlooked in industrial countries - diesel exhaust. The study finds that increased exposure to diesel exhaust in the womb raises the risk of heart failure in early adulthood.

Diesel exposure in the womb increases thickening of the heart valve

The researchers of the study gained evidence from a study involving mice.

While mouse life is different from human life, the mechanisms of care in the womb are very similar. Adult mice pass on their air, food and water much like humans do.

For three weeks before pregnancy, three weeks during and three weeks after giving birth, groups of mice were either exposed to diesel exhaust or filtered air. The amount of exposure was equivalent to the amount humans must breathe in while living in highly polluted cities.
At 12 weeks old, all the mice underwent surgery to study heart implications. The results were telling.

The mice exposed to filtered air showed no signs of cardiovascular complications.

The adult mice exposed to diesel exhaust showed little signs of heart strain.

But the mice exposed to diesel in the womb showed thickened heart valves and pulmonary congestion. This fibrosis was five times greater than the other groups! This heart valve fibrosis strains the entire cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of heart failure.

The final surgery put additional pressure on the mice's hearts. All of the mice died, but those exposed to diesel exhaust in the womb died quicker when strained.

"The study implies that adult cardiovascular disease may have more origins in developmental exposure to air pollution than is currently appreciated," the authors wrote.

The role of the placenta

Speculating further, the authors believe diesel fumes alter how the placenta functions.

"The placenta plays an important role in regulating fetal development - blood flow, nutrient flow, oxygen transfer," says researcher Weldy. "All of these are necessary for fetal growth." When a fetus takes in air so polluted with diesel exhaust and other toxins, they end up restricted, trying to develop in a malnourished environment. This "can predispose [the new life] to heart disease," says Weldy.

Those were not the only results. After the surgery, the researchers found out that diesel exhaust exposure in early life modifies the inflammatory cytokine response in the lungs when the mice get older.

To protect life, toxic forms of energy must be replaced

As this assessment shows, diesel exposure in the womb significantly increases rates of cardiac hypertrophy, pulmonary congestion, myocardial fibrosis and systolic failure.

So isn't it time to exit the rut and routine and start investing in cleaner energy solutions? Maybe it's time to lift the ban on hemp production in America and create new energy sources without the toxic fumes? Maybe it's time to work with nature for energy production instead of against her?

If life is important to you, in the womb and beyond, then how we view, produce and consume energy like diesel must be changed.

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