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Air pollution linked to low birth weight: Study

For pregnant women, breathing in air pollution from vehicles, heating and coal power plants increases the risk of having a low birth weight baby, an international study said yesterday.

The research, the most extensive of its kind on the link between air pollution and fetal development, found that the higher the pollution, the greater the rate of children born with a low weight. It was published in the US journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Scientists analyzed data from more than three million births in nine nations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Most of the data was collected from the mid-1990s to the late 2000s, with some obtained earlier.

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