According to a study published by the Environment International, prolong exposure to air pollution caused by particulate matter is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 premature births globally. Researchers concluded that particular matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less (PM 2.5) is strongly associated with 18% of preterm births globally or about 2.7 million premature births. While a majority of PM2.5 premature births are located in developing countries, developed countries still remain at risk for premature births. In the United states, approximately 50,000 premature births was caused by PM2.5 resulting in about $51,000 in medical care, special education services and other needs.
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