Ambient Air Pollution and Adverse Birth Outcomes
Presented by Pei Chen Lee, Dep. Epidemiology, School of Public Health
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
4:00 PM - 5:45 PM
La Kretz Hall 110
The number of studies addressing the possible effects of air pollutants on human reproduction, especially prenatal outcomes, has grown extensively. Over the last 20 years, numerous studies in the United States and elsewhere have linked ambient air pollution to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age (a marker of intrauterine growth retardation), and a few investigated preeclampsia, perinatal mortality and cardiac birth defects. Positive associations have been described most consistently for increased preterm birth and particulate matter exposures especially for exposures during the first and third trimester of pregnancy. Some studies relying on measures of traffic density suggested that motor vehicle exhaust may be an important source for particulates. The biologic mechanisms explaining air pollution effects on pregnancy outcomes, however, are not well understood. We previously reported that PM10, PM2.5, and ozone exposures were associated with increased C-reactive protein concentrations in early pregnancy. This finding may suggest that these air pollutants contribute to inflammation and thereby possibly to adverse pregnancy outcomes.