Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Environmental Exposures Before, After Birth Can Harm Children’s Lungs

12.10.2004


Children prenatally exposed to pollutants, such as motor vehicle exhaust, and postnatally exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) may be more likely to suffer from asthma and related symptoms early in life. A new study in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, shows that young children who are exposed to these pollutants may be significantly more likely to develop respiratory conditions at ages 12 and 24 months.



“A great deal of new evidence suggests that the respiratory system may be vulnerable to damage caused by inhaled environmental agents during the prenatal period,” said Rachel L. Miller, MD, the study’s lead author at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, part of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY.

“This study indicates that the combination of exposure to combustion by-products in the womb and to second-hand smoke during infancy can cause significantly more respiratory problems than either exposure on its own,” added Dr. Frederica Perera, the study’s Principal Investigator and Director of the Center.


Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health studied 303 pregnant Dominican and African-American women, all nonsmokers, who were enrolled as part of a large prospective cohort study following mothers and their children for several years after delivery to examine effects of environmental pollutants. The researchers measured each woman’s prenatal exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through personal air monitors and questionnaires, and distributed additional periodic questionnaires to monitor the children’s respiratory health. Study results show that children exposed prenatally to PAHs and postnatally to ETS were more likely to cough and wheeze at 12 months of age and experienced more difficulty breathing, as well as higher incidences of asthma symptoms, at 24 months of age. Although the researchers found increased respiratory symptoms at 12 and 24 months, they did not find a relationship between PAHs, ETS, and respiratory symptoms when the children were 6 months old. These findings may suggest that the harmful effects on the lung develop after prolonged or later exposure to ETS.

“At this point we can only speculate how PAH exposure, in conjunction with ETS, causes respiratory damage,” said Dr. Miller. “One possibility is that PAHs, which easily reach the fetus and damage DNA, affect the child’s developmental programming, which then leaves the child’s airways at risk for future harm.”

People living in high-traffic areas and poor housing are at especially high risk for PAH and ETS exposure. PAHs can come from motor vehicle emissions, residential heating, power generation, tobacco smoking, and other combustion sources. While PAHs and ETS can harm boys and girls, the study found preliminary evidence that the combination more often leads to cough and wheeze in boys, possibly because boys tend to have smaller airways, which may increase the risk for airway hyperreactivity or inflammation-induced respiratory symptoms.

“The congestion and pollution found in most large cities can compromise the respiratory health of children in these areas,” said Richard S. Irwin, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. “This study reinforces the importance of society doing a better job protecting the health of children living in inner-cities, even before they are born.”

CHEST is a peer-reviewed journal published by the ACCP. It is available online each month at www.chestjournal.org. ACCP represents 16,000 members who provide clinical respiratory, critical care, sleep, and cardiothoracic patient care in the United States and throughout the world. The ACCP’s mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.chestnet.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>