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Air Pollution: Impact on Maternal and Perinatal Health


  • Barbara Hackley CNM, MSN,

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Barbara Hackley, CNM, MSN, is an Associate Professor at Yale University School of Nursing and in clinical practice at Montefiore South Bronx Health Center for Children and Families. She currently serves as the ACNM liaison to the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP) Lead & Pregnancy Workgroup (LPWG), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Abigail Feinstein CNM, MSN,

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    • Abigail Feinstein, CNM, MSN, is a 2006 graduate of the Yale School of Nursing and is currently practicing in Utah. Prior to her widwifery career, she worked in several communities in the Bronx and Oregon to help ecologically restore their watersheds and make their rivers destinations for recreation and education.

  • Jane Dixon PhD

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    • Jane Dixon, PhD, is a professor in the PhD program at Yale University School of Nursing. Her research interests include promotion and engagement in environmental health, with particular focus on problems of air pollution and environmental justice.

Yale University School of Nursing, 215 Riverside Dr., Fairfield, CT 06824. E-mail:


While air pollution levels have fallen in recent years, air quality in the United States is still poor and adversely affects the health of millions of persons. Because of physiologic changes in pregnancy, pregnant women and their fetuses are among the most vulnerable. This paper reviews the current state of our air quality, the impact that exposure to air pollution has on general health and the health of a pregnancy, and offers suggestions on how to minimize exposures.