The effects of inhaled pollutants on reproduction in marginalized communities: a contemporary review

Inhal Toxicol. 2023 Apr 19:1-18. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2023.2197941. Online ahead of print.


Important differences in health that are closely linked with social disadvantage exist within and between countries. According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy and good health continue to increase in many parts of the world, but fail to improve in other parts of the world, indicating that differences in life expectancy and health arise due to the circumstances in which people grow, live, work, and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. Marginalized communities experience higher rates of certain diseases and more deaths compared to the general population, indicating a profound disparity in health status. Although several factors place marginalized communities at high risk for poor health outcomes, one important factor is exposure to air pollutants. Marginalized communities and minorities are exposed to higher levels of air pollutants than the majority population. Interestingly, a link exists between air pollutant exposure and adverse reproductive outcomes, suggesting that marginalized communities may have increased reproductive disorders due to increased exposure to air pollutants compared to the general population. This review summarizes different studies showing that marginalized communities have higher exposure to air pollutants, the types of air pollutants present in our environment, and the associations between air pollution and adverse reproductive outcomes, focusing on marginalized communities.

Keywords: Marginalized communities; female reproduction; inhaled pollutants; male reproduction; toxicity.