A new research has claimed that the risk of miscarriage increases with high levels of traffic pollution.
The study, which included 400 women having IVF treatment in Brazil, found that those who became pregnant in winter, when pollution levels are particularly high, were twice as likely to miscarry in the first eight weeks as those who conceived at other times of the year.
Paulo Marcelo Perin, from the University of São Paulo, presented the finding at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Atlanta, Georgia, reports The Times.
The expert said that females exposed to levels of PM10s only slightly above the recommended safe limit (50 micrograms per cubic metre) had a greater chance of losing a baby.
"We saw a significant increase in the miscarriage rates in winter," he said.
"There was a 2.5 fold increase in pregnancy loss [in women] exposed to high levels of pollution.
"Our previous studies have shown higher implantation failure rates when women are exposed to pollution. Our latest study found that air pollution significantly decreased the cell population.
"When you have a decrease in cell mass you compromise embryo viability. Because diesel is a major component of air pollution we can assume most of the effect is from diesel," he added.
In another study, which was conducted by American researchers on 7,500 women undergoing IVF, a decline in fertility was found due to exposure to nitrogen dioxide, another common air pollutant.