According to a new Peking University study, fine particles in China’s polluted air kill 64,000 babies in the womb each year. China ranks fourth worst in the world after India, Pakistan, and Nigeria in terms of number of filthy air-linked stillbirths.

The shocking figure comes despite efforts by the Chinese communist regime to tackle the problem over the past 10 or more years.

PM2.5 pollution became a serious public concern in China a decade ago. The city of Beijing was frequently shrouded in heavy smog.

Zhu Tong, a researcher, said that in recent years, China has been working hard on treating air pollution. However, a great population and uneven social development mean many pregnant women are still exposed to air pollution.

The researchers said pollution particles passing through the placenta might lead to irreversible embryonic damage. It could also hinder oxygen transmission to the fetus.

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