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A new study has linked air Pollution to negative changes in a baby’s gut microbiome. The researchers found exposure to air Pollution in the first six months of life can lead to a gut microbiome composition linked to allergies and inflammatory disease.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)/YouTube

The same team of researchers conducted a similar study in 2020 where they linked air Pollution to gut microbiome changes in young adults living in Southern California. This time, the researchers wanted to investigate the relationship between gut bacteria and air Pollution in infants. They analyzed fecal samples from around 100 six-month-old infants.

“The microbiome plays a role in nearly every physiological process in the body, and the environment that develops in those first few years of life sticks with you,” said Maximilian Bailey, one author of the new study.

They found that infants that lived in areas with a high level of exposure had around 60 percent less Phascolarctobacterium in their microbiome. Phascolarctobacterium is a gut bacteria that have been associated with gastrointestinal health benefits.

They also found that those infants with the highest levels of exposure had 85 percent more Dialister than infants with less exposure. Dialister is a bacterium that is linked to inflammation, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and mental health issues in adults.

“Overall, we saw that ambient air Pollution exposure was associated with a more inflammatory gut-microbial profile, which may contribute to a whole host of future adverse health outcomes,” said Tanya Alderete, senior author of the study. “This study adds to the growing body of literature showing that air Pollution exposure, even during infancy, may alter the gut microbiome, with important implications for growth and development.”

Air Pollution is an invisible killer and has been linked to so many diseases, including fatty liver disease, depression, and other mental health issues, and a study even found that nearly 6 million babies born prematurely in 2019 were likely linked to air pollution. Eating meat has been linked to a rise in air pollution, and factory farms are one of the biggest to blame for our dirty air. According to the WHO, an estimated 4.2 million people every year are killed from outdoor air Pollution, and 99 percent of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits, with low and middle-income areas disproportionately affected. Check out these eco-artists that are using their art to call attention to the massive problem of air Pollution and sign the petition to demand federal clean-up of disproportionately affected polluted areas in the United States.

Sign this petition to demand the Environmental Protection Agency take immediate action to cut air Pollution!

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