“Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most”

“Women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have premature, underweight or stillborn babies, a look at 32 million U.S. births found.”

“WASHINGTON — Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining  more than 32 million births in the United States.

The research adds to a growing body of evidence that minorities bear a disproportionate share of the danger from pollution and global warming. Not only are minority communities in the United States far more likely to be hotter than the surrounding areas, a phenomenon known as the “heat island” effect, but they are also more likely to be located near polluting industries.

“We already know that these pregnancy outcomes are worse for black women,” said Rupa Basu, one of the paper’s authors and the chief of the air and climate epidemiological section for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment in California. “It’s even more exacerbated by these exposures.””

Christopher Flavelle reports for the New York Times June 18, 2020.