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Ambient black carbon particles reach the fetal side of human placenta

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Particle transfer across the placenta has been suggested but to date, no direct evidence in real-life, human context exists. Here we report the presence of black carbon (BC) particles as part of combustion-derived particulate matter in human placentae using white-light generation under femtosecond pulsed illumination. BC is identified in all screened placentae, with an average (SD) particle count of 0.95 x 10(4) (0.66 x 10(4)) and 2.09 x 10(4) (0.9 x 10(4)) particles per mm(3) for low and high exposed mothers, respectively. Furthermore, the placental BC load is positively associated with mothers' residential BC exposure during pregnancy (0.63-2.42 lug per m(3)). Our finding that BC particles accumulate on the fetal side of the placenta suggests that ambient particulates could be transported towards the fetus and represents a potential mechanism explaining the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards.
Journal: Nature communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
Volume: 10
Number of pages: 7
Publication year:2019