Toxic London: Cyclists, pregnancy and miscarriages


I was reading in this week’s Take-a-Break magazine on Page 19, “Polluted Pregnancy”.

The article was about new research ‘that suggests high levels of pollution caused by toxic traffic fumes could greatly increase the risk of miscarriage by two and a half times’.

“That’s why experts are advising women to avoid getting pregnant when there are high levels of pollution in the air.

The article goes on to say that experiments in mice studying the effects of air pollution in pregnancy have shown that exhaust particles stops embryos developing properly in the womb and this can trigger a miscarriage.

“The study from Brazil found that miscarriage rates in Brazil were 20 to 30 per cent in winter months compared with 10 to 15 per cent at other times of the year.

Britain is already facing prosecution in the European Court for failing to meet legal limits. By 2012 the UK may also face prosecution for nitrogen dioxide pollution which is higher in London than in any other capital city in Europe.

Levels are rising as more and more people are driving cars running on diesel not petrol.

The Miscarriage Association wants more studies.

However, as is often the case, a foreign study will say it is dangerous but a UK one will say it is safe, and nothing to worry about, we only have to remember the studies about CJD and mobile phones.

I wonder when the CTC and LCC will discuss pollution and pregnancy and how cyclists are affected.

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4 responses to “Toxic London: Cyclists, pregnancy and miscarriages

  1. Irrespective of the Pregnancy and miscarraige issues which are terrible all that Pollution is Lethal over the Years building up in your Body. All those Chemicals and Lead and everything else contained in Petrol and Diesel,causing Cancers. It must be really bad for those living in the Centre of London in Apartments that cannot get away from it being constantly exposed to it even when they are indoors. How do you know when there is no high levels of Pollution in the Air,when you live in a City you have to go out it is very hard to avoid it. I used to live in the Centre City Area and it was terrible we were on a main Route out of the City. The Air was always thick with Pollution at rush Hour. It is actually not as bad now because of the Port Tunnel and Ring Roads that has taken some of the Traffic from the City,and of course the Clean Air Laws that banned Smoky Coal in Dublin.

  2. I can always ‘feel it’ but I think discussing pollution, particularly with cyclists breathing all that gunk is important. Pollution seems to be ignored in cycling magazines because it is political.

  3. I have seen some Cyclists occasionally wearing these little White Masks over their Mouths when I was Cycling to Work on the Commute as a protection against Pollution. It is mostly Foreigners, a lot of Americans seem to use them rather than Irish People.

  4. There is a problem with London Trapping all the Pollution. All those Peasouper Smogs of Years ago from the Victorian Era up to the 1970 ties which mostly Ended with the clean Air Act banning Smoky Fuel.

    We are better off because of the constant Sea Breeze in Dublin and the West Wind but when there was no Wind in the City we would have very bad Smogs like London. This could last for a Week or two and was a Killer until the Smoky Coal Ban about 15 Years ago.

    But with London this problem still remains because of all the Traffic getting worse and nowhere for the Pollution to dissipate to.

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