Low birth weight and air pollution in California: Which sources and components drive the risk?
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Intrauterine growth restriction has been associated with exposure to air pollution, but there is a need to clarify which sources and components are most likely responsible. This study investigated the associations between low birth weight (LBW, <2500g) in term born infants (?37 gestational weeks) and air pollution by source and composition in California, over the period 2001-2008. METHODS:Complementary exposure models were used: an empirical Bayesian kriging model for the interpolation of ambient pollutant measurements, a source-oriented chemical transport model (using California emission inventories) that estimated fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM0.1, respectively) mass concentrations (4km×4km) by source and composition, a line-source roadway dispersion model at fine resolution, and traffic index estimates. Birth weight was obtained from California birth certificate records. A case-cohort design was used. Five controls per term LBW case were randomly selected (without covariate matching or stratification) from among term births. The resulting datasets were analyzed by logistic regression with a random effect by hospital, using generalized additive mixed models adjusted for race/ethnicity, education, maternal age and household income. RESULTS:In total 72,632 singleton term LBW cases were included. Term LBW was positively and significantly associated with interpolated measurements of ozone but not total fine PM or nitrogen dioxide. No significant association was observed between term LBW and primary PM from all sources grouped together. A positive significant association was observed for secondary organic aerosols. Exposure to elemental carbon (EC), nitrates and ammonium were also positively and significantly associated with term LBW, but only for exposure during the third trimester of pregnancy. Significant positive associations were observed between term LBW risk and primary PM emitted by on-road gasoline and diesel or by commercial meat cooking sources. Primary PM from wood burning was inversely associated with term LBW. Significant positive associations were also observed between term LBW and ultrafine particle numbers modeled with the line-source roadway dispersion model, traffic density and proximity to roadways. DISCUSSION:This large study based on complementary exposure metrics suggests that not only primary pollution sources (traffic and commercial meat cooking) but also EC and secondary pollutants are risk factors for term LBW.
Project description:Emerging evidence indicates that near-roadway pollution (NRP) in ambient air has adverse health effects. However, specific components of the NRP mixture responsible for these effects have not been established. A major limitation for health studies is the lack of exposure models that estimate NRP components observed in epidemiological studies over fine spatial scale of tens to hundreds of meters. In this study, exposure models were developed for fine-scale variation in biologically relevant elemental carbon (EC). Measurements of particulate matter (PM) and EC less than 2.5 ?m in aerodynamic diameter (EC2.5) and of PM and EC of nanoscale size less than 0.2 ?m were made at up to 29 locations in each of eight Southern California Children's Health Study communities. Regression-based prediction models were developed using a guided forward selection process to identify traffic variables and other pollutant sources, community physical characteristics and land use as predictors of PM and EC variation in each community. A combined eight-community model including only CALINE4 near-roadway dispersion-estimated vehicular emissions accounting for distance, distance-weighted traffic volume, and meteorology, explained 51% of the EC0.2 variability. Community-specific models identified additional predictors in some communities; however, in most communities the correlation between predicted concentrations from the eight-community model and observed concentrations stratified by community were similar to those for the community-specific models. EC2.5 could be predicted as well as EC0.2. EC2.5 estimated from CALINE4 and population density explained 53% of the within-community variation. Exposure prediction was further improved after accounting for between-community heterogeneity of CALINE4 effects associated with average distance to Pacific Ocean shoreline (to 61% for EC0.2) and for regional NOx pollution (to 57% for EC2.5). PM fine spatial scale variation was poorly predicted in both size fractions. In conclusion, models of exposure that include traffic measures such as CALINE4 can provide useful estimates for EC0.2 and EC2.5 on a spatial scale appropriate for health studies of NRP in selected Southern California communities.
Project description:Numerous studies have linked criteria air pollutants with adverse birth outcomes, but there is less information on the importance of specific emission sources, such as traffic, and air toxics.We used three exposure data sources to examine odds of term low birth weight (LBW) in Los Angeles, California, women when exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollutants during pregnancy.We identified term births during 1 June 2004 to 30 March 2006 to women residing within 5 miles of a South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study (MATES III) monitoring station. Pregnancy period average exposures were estimated for air toxics, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), source-specific particulate matter < 2.5 ?m in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) based on a chemical mass balance model, criteria air pollutants from government monitoring data, and land use regression (LUR) model estimates of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Associations between these metrics and odds of term LBW (< 2,500 g) were examined using logistic regression.Odds of term LBW increased approximately 5% per interquartile range increase in entire pregnancy exposures to several correlated traffic pollutants: LUR measures of NO, NO2, and NOx, elemental carbon, and PM2.5 from diesel and gasoline combustion and paved road dust (geological PM2.5).These analyses provide additional evidence of the potential impact of traffic-related air pollution on fetal growth. Particles from traffic sources should be a focus of future studies.
Project description:Objective To investigate the relation between exposure to both air and noise pollution from road traffic and birth weight outcomes.Design Retrospective population based cohort study.Setting Greater London and surrounding counties up to the M25 motorway (2317 km2), UK, from 2006 to 2010.Participants 540?365 singleton term live births.Main outcome measures Term low birth weight (LBW), small for gestational age (SGA) at term, and term birth weight.Results Average air pollutant exposures across pregnancy were 41 ?g/m3 nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 73 ?g/m3 nitrogen oxides (NOx), 14 ?g/m3 particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 ?m (PM2.5), 23 ?g/m3 particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <10 ?m (PM10), and 32 ?g/m3 ozone (O3). Average daytime (LAeq,16hr) and night-time (Lnight) road traffic A-weighted noise levels were 58 dB and 53 dB respectively. Interquartile range increases in NO2, NOx, PM2.5, PM10, and source specific PM2.5 from traffic exhaust (PM2.5 traffic exhaust) and traffic non-exhaust (brake or tyre wear and resuspension) (PM2.5 traffic non-exhaust) were associated with 2% to 6% increased odds of term LBW, and 1% to 3% increased odds of term SGA. Air pollutant associations were robust to adjustment for road traffic noise. Trends of decreasing birth weight across increasing road traffic noise categories were observed, but were strongly attenuated when adjusted for primary traffic related air pollutants. Only PM2.5 traffic exhaust and PM2.5 were consistently associated with increased risk of term LBW after adjustment for each of the other air pollutants. It was estimated that 3% of term LBW cases in London are directly attributable to residential exposure to PM2.5>13.8 ?g/m3during pregnancy.Conclusions The findings suggest that air pollution from road traffic in London is adversely affecting fetal growth. The results suggest little evidence for an independent exposure-response effect of traffic related noise on birth weight outcomes.
Project description:Emerging evidence indicates that the near-roadway air pollution (NRAP) mixture contributes to CHD, yet few studies have evaluated the associated costs.We integrated an assessment of NRAP-attributable CHD in Southern California with new methods to value the associated mortality and hospitalizations.Based on population-weighted residential exposure to NRAP (traffic density, proximity to a major roadway and elemental carbon), we estimated the inflation-adjusted value of NRAP-attributable mortality and costs of hospitalizations that occurred in 2008. We also estimated anticipated costs in 2035 based on projected changes in population and in NRAP exposure associated with California's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For comparison, we estimated the value of CHD mortality attributable to PM less than 2.5?m in diameter (PM2.5) in both 2008 and 2035.The value of CHD mortality attributable to NRAP in 2008 was between $3.8 and $11.5 billion, 23% (major roadway proximity) to 68% (traffic density) of the $16.8 billion attributable to regulated regional PM2.5. NRAP-attributable costs were projected to increase to $10.6 to $22 billion in 2035, depending on the NRAP metric. Cost of NRAP-attributable hospitalizations for CHD in 2008 was $48.6 million and was projected to increase to $51.4 million in 2035.We developed an economic framework that can be used to estimate the benefits of regulations to improve air quality. CHD attributable to NRAP has a large economic impact that is expected to increase by 2035, largely due to an aging population. PM2.5-attributable costs may underestimate total value of air pollution-attributable CHD.
Project description:A growing body of evidence has associated maternal exposure to air pollution with adverse effects on fetal growth; however, the existing literature is inconsistent.We aimed to quantify the association between maternal exposure to particulate air pollution and term birth weight and low birth weight (LBW) across 14 centers from 9 countries, and to explore the influence of site characteristics and exposure assessment methods on between-center heterogeneity in this association.Using a common analytical protocol, International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO) centers generated effect estimates for term LBW and continuous birth weight associated with PM(10) and PM(2.5) (particulate matter ? 10 and 2.5 µm). We used meta-analysis to combine the estimates of effect across centers (~ 3 million births) and used meta-regression to evaluate the influence of center characteristics and exposure assessment methods on between-center heterogeneity in reported effect estimates.In random-effects meta-analyses, term LBW was positively associated with a 10-?g/m3 increase in PM10 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.05] and PM(2.5) (OR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.18) exposure during the entire pregnancy, adjusted for maternal socioeconomic status. A 10-?g/m3 increase in PM(10) exposure was also negatively associated with term birth weight as a continuous outcome in the fully adjusted random-effects meta-analyses (-8.9 g; 95% CI: -13.2, -4.6 g). Meta-regressions revealed that centers with higher median PM(2.5) levels and PM(2.5):PM(10) ratios, and centers that used a temporal exposure assessment (compared with spatiotemporal), tended to report stronger associations.Maternal exposure to particulate pollution was associated with LBW at term across study populations. We detected three site characteristics and aspects of exposure assessment methodology that appeared to contribute to the variation in associations reported by centers.
Project description:Background:Bronchitic symptoms in children pose a significant clinical and public health burden. Exposures to criteria air pollutants affect bronchitic symptoms, especially in children with asthma. Less is known about near-roadway exposures. Methods:Bronchitic symptoms (bronchitis, chronic cough, or phlegm) in the past 12 months were assessed annually with 8 to 9 years of follow-up on 6757 children from the southern California Children's Health Study. Residential exposure to freeway and non-freeway near-roadway air pollution was estimated using a line-source dispersion model. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to relate near-roadway air pollutant exposures to bronchitic symptoms among children with and without asthma. Results:Among children with asthma, a two standard deviation increase in non-freeway exposures (odds ratio [OR]: 1.44; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-1.78) and freeway exposures (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.06-1.60) were significantly associated with increased risk of bronchitic symptoms. Among children without asthma, only non-freeway exposures had a significant association (OR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.00-1.29). Associations were strongest among children living in communities with lower regional particulate matter. Conclusions:Near-roadway air pollution was associated with bronchitic symptoms, especially among children with asthma and those living in communities with lower regional particulate matter. Better characterization of traffic pollutants from non-freeway roads is needed since many children live in close proximity to this source.
Project description:Few studies have examined associations of birth outcomes with toxic air pollutants (air toxics) in traffic exhaust. This study included 8,181 term low birth weight (LBW) children and 370,922 term normal-weight children born between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2006, to women residing within 5 miles (8 km) of an air toxics monitoring station in Los Angeles County, California. Additionally, land-use-based regression (LUR)-modeled estimates of levels of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxides were used to assess the influence of small-area variations in traffic pollution. The authors examined associations with term LBW (?37 weeks' completed gestation and birth weight <2,500 g) using logistic regression adjusted for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, parity, infant gestational age, and gestational age squared. Odds of term LBW increased 2%-5% (95% confidence intervals ranged from 1.00 to 1.09) per interquartile-range increase in LUR-modeled estimates and monitoring-based air toxics exposure estimates in the entire pregnancy, the third trimester, and the last month of pregnancy. Models stratified by monitoring station (to investigate air toxics associations based solely on temporal variations) resulted in 2%-5% increased odds per interquartile-range increase in third-trimester benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene exposures, with some confidence intervals containing the null value. This analysis highlights the importance of both spatial and temporal contributions to air pollution in epidemiologic birth outcome studies.
Project description:Previous studies reported adverse impacts of traffic-related air pollution exposure on pregnancy outcomes. Yet, little information exists on how effect estimates are impacted by the different exposure assessment methods employed in these studies.To compare effect estimates for traffic-related air pollution exposure and preeclampsia, preterm birth (gestational age less than 37 weeks), and very preterm birth (gestational age less than 30 weeks) based on four commonly used exposure assessment methods.We identified 81,186 singleton births during 1997-2006 at four hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. Exposures were assigned to individual subjects based on residential address at delivery using the nearest ambient monitoring station data [carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen oxides (NO(x)), ozone (O(3)), and particulate matter less than 2.5 (PM(2.5)) or less than 10 (PM(10))?m in aerodynamic diameter], both unadjusted and temporally adjusted land-use regression (LUR) model estimates (NO, NO(2), and NO(x)), CALINE4 line-source air dispersion model estimates (NO(x) and PM(2.5)), and a simple traffic-density measure. We employed unconditional logistic regression to analyze preeclampsia in our birth cohort, while for gestational age-matched risk sets with preterm and very preterm birth we employed conditional logistic regression.We observed elevated risks for preeclampsia, preterm birth, and very preterm birth from maternal exposures to traffic air pollutants measured at ambient stations (CO, NO, NO(2), and NO(x)) and modeled through CALINE4 (NO(x) and PM(2.5)) and LUR (NO(2) and NO(x)). Increased risk of preterm birth and very preterm birth were also positively associated with PM(10) and PM(2.5) air pollution measured at ambient stations. For LUR-modeled NO(2) and NO(x) exposures, elevated risks for all the outcomes were observed in Los Angeles only--the region for which the LUR models were initially developed. Unadjusted LUR models often produced odds ratios somewhat larger in size than temporally adjusted models. The size of effect estimates was smaller for exposures based on simpler traffic density measures than the other exposure assessment methods.We generally confirmed that traffic-related air pollution was associated with adverse reproductive outcomes regardless of the exposure assessment method employed, yet the size of the estimated effect depended on how both temporal and spatial variations were incorporated into exposure assessment. The LUR model was not transferable even between two contiguous areas within the same large metropolitan area in Southern California.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atmospheric pollution is a major public health concern. It can affect placental function and restricts fetal growth. However, scientific knowledge remains too limited to make inferences regarding causal associations between maternal exposure to air pollution and adverse effects on pregnancy. This study evaluated the association between low birth weight (LBW) and maternal exposure during pregnancy to traffic related air pollutants (TRAP) in São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Analysis included 5,772 cases of term-LBW (<2,500 g) and 5,814 controls matched by sex and month of birth selected from the birth registration system. Mothers' addresses were geocoded to estimate exposure according to 3 indicators: distance from home to heavy traffic roads, distance-weighted traffic density (DWTD) and levels of particulate matter ?10 µg/m3 estimated through land use regression (LUR-PM10). Final models were evaluated using multiple logistic regression adjusting for birth, maternal and pregnancy characteristics. We found decreased odds in the risk of LBW associated with DWTD and LUR-PM10 in the highest quartiles of exposure with a significant linear trend of decrease in risk. The analysis with distance from heavy traffic roads was less consistent. It was also observed that mothers with higher education and neighborhood-level income were potentially more exposed to TRAP. CONCLUSIONS:This study found an unexpected decreased risk of LBW associated with traffic related air pollution. Mothers with advantaged socioeconomic position (SEP) although residing in areas of higher vehicular traffic might not in fact be more expose to air pollution. It can also be that the protection against LBW arising from a better SEP is stronger than the effect of exposure to air pollution, and this exposure may not be sufficient to increase the risk of LBW for these mothers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP, particles with aerodynamic diameter?<?100?nm) is associated with reduced lung function and airway inflammation in individuals with asthma. Recently, elevated UFP number concentrations (PN) from aircraft landing and takeoff activity were identified downwind of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) but little is known about the health impacts of airport-related UFP exposure. METHODS:We conducted a randomized crossover study of 22 non-smoking adults with mild to moderate asthma in Nov-Dec 2014 and May-Jul 2015 to investigate short-term effects of exposure to LAX airport-related UFPs. Participants conducted scripted, mild walking activity on two occasions in public parks inside (exposure) and outside (control) of the high UFP zone. Spirometry, multiple flow exhaled nitric oxide, and circulating inflammatory cytokines were measured before and after exposure. Personal UFP PN and lung deposited surface area (LDSA) and stationary UFP PN, black carbon (BC), particle-bound PAHs (PB-PAH), ozone (O3), carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) mass were measured. Source apportionment analysis was conducted to distinguish aircraft from roadway traffic related UFP sources. Health models investigated within-subject changes in outcomes as a function of pollutants and source factors. RESULTS:A high two-hour walking period average contrast of ~34,000?particles·cm-3 was achieved with mean (std) PN concentrations of 53,342 (25,529) and 19,557 (11,131)?particles·cm-3 and mean (std) particle size of 28.7 (9.5) and 33.2 (11.5) at the exposure and control site, respectively. Principal components analysis differentiated airport UFPs (PN), roadway traffic (BC, PB-PAH), PM mass (PM2.5, PM10), and secondary photochemistry (O3) sources. A standard deviation increase in the 'Airport UFPs' factor was significantly associated with IL-6, a circulating marker of inflammation (single-pollutant model: 0.21, 95% CI?=?0.08-0.34; multi-pollutant model: 0.18, 0.04-0.32). The 'Traffic' factor was significantly associated with lower Forced Expiratory Volume in 1?s (FEV1) (single-pollutant model: -1.52, -2.28 to -0.77) and elevated sTNFrII (single-pollutant model: 36.47; 6.03-66.91; multi-pollutant model: 64.38; 6.30-122.46). No consistent associations were observed with exhaled nitric oxide. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate increased acute systemic inflammation following exposure to airport-related UFPs. Health effects associated with roadway traffic exposure were distinct. This study emphasizes the importance of multi-pollutant measurements and modeling techniques to disentangle sources of UFPs contributing to the complex urban air pollution mixture and to evaluate population health risks.