Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maternal exposure to outdoor air pollution associated with low birth weights worldwide

06.02.2013
Largest study of its kind shows link between outdoor particulate pollution and impaired fetal growth

Mothers who are exposed to particulate air pollution of the type emitted by vehicles, urban heating and coal power plants are significantly more likely to bear children of low birth weight, according to an international study led by co-principal investigator Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, MPH, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at UC San Francisco along with Jennifer Parker, PhD, of the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, the largest of its kind ever performed, analyzed data collected from more than three million births in nine nations at 14 sites in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The researchers found that at sites worldwide, the higher the pollution rate, the greater the rate of low birth weight.

Low birth weight (a weight below 2500 grams or 5.5 pounds) is associated with serious health consequences, including increased risk of postnatal morbidity and mortality and chronic health problems in later life, noted lead author Payam Dadvand, MD, PhD, of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona, Spain.

In the study, published on February 6th, 2013 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the team assessed data collected from research centers in the International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes, an international research collaborative established in 2007 to study the effects of pollution on pregnancy outcomes. Most of the data assessed was collected during the mid-1990s to the late 2000s, and in some cases, earlier.

"What's significant is that these are air pollution levels to which practically everyone in the world is commonly exposed," said Woodruff. "These microscopic particles, which are smaller than the width of a human hair, are in the air that we all breathe."

Woodruff noted that nations with tighter regulations on particulate air pollution have lower levels of these air pollutants. "In the United States, we have shown over the last several decades that the benefits to health and wellbeing from reducing air pollution are far greater than the costs," said Woodruff. "This is a lesson that all nations can learn from."

Particulate air pollution is measured in size (microns) and weight (micrograms per cubic meter). In the United States, federal regulations require that the yearly average concentration in the air to be no more than 12 µg/m3 of particles measuring less than 2.5 microns. In the European Union, the limit is 25 µg/m3, and regulatory agencies there are currently debating whether to lower it.

"This study comes at the right time to bring the issue to the attention of policy makers," said study co-author Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, PhD, of CREAL.

Nieuwenhuijsen observed that particulate air pollution in Beijing, China has recently been measured higher than 700 µg/m3.

"From the perspective of world health, levels like this are obviously completely unsustainable," he said.

Whether these pregnancy exposures can have effects later in life, currently is under investigation through an epidemiological follow-up of some of the children included in these studies.

Co-authors of the paper are Michelle L. Bell of Yale University; Matteo Bonzini of the University of Insubria, Varese, Italy; Michael Brauer of the University of British Columbia; Lyndsey Darrow of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Ulrike Gehring of Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Svetlana V. Glinianaia of Newcastle University, United Kingdom; Nelson Gouveia of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Eunhee Ha of Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Jong Han Leem of Inha University, Inchon, Republic of Korea; Edith H. van den Hooven of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam the Netherlands; Bin Jalaludin of the University of New South Wales, Australia; Bill M. Jesdale of UC Berkeley; Johanna Lepeule of Harvard University and INSERM, Grenoble, France; Rachel Morello-Frosch of UC Berkeley; Geoffrey G. Morgan of the University of Sydney, Australia; Angela Cecilia Pesatori of Università di Milano, Milan, Italy; Frank H. Pierik of Urban Environment and Safety, TNO, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Tanja Pless-Mulloli of Newcastle University; David Q. Rich of the University of Rochester, New York; Sheela Sathyanarayana of the University of Washington; Juhee Seo of Ewha Womans University; Rémy Slama of INSERM, Grenoble, France; Matthew Strickland of Emory University; Lillian Tamburic of the University of British Columbia;and Daniel Wartenberg of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The study was supported by funds from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Environmental Sciences in the United States; the Wellcome Fund in the United Kingdom; and the Ministry of Science and Innovation in Spain. In Vancouver, British Columbia, the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Vital Statistics Agency and the BC Reproductive Care Program approved access to and use of data facilitated by Population Data BC.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Karin Rush-Monroe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>