Prenatal Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Birth Weight

Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.2). 11/2010; 21(6):884-91. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181f2f405
Source: PubMed


Exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) during pregnancy has been linked to lower birth weight; however, the chemical composition of PM2.5 varies widely. The health effects of PM2.5 constituents are unknown.
We investigated whether PM2.5 mass, constituents, and sources are associated with birth weight for term births. PM2.5 filters collected in 3 Connecticut counties and 1 Massachusetts county from August 2000 through February 2004 were analyzed for more than 50 elements. Source apportionment was used to estimate daily contributions of PM2.5 sources, including traffic, road dust/crustal, oil combustion, salt, and regional (sulfur) sources. Gestational and trimester exposure to PM2.5 mass, constituents, and source contributions were examined in relation to birth weight and risk of small-at-term birth (term birth <2500 g) for 76,788 infants.
Road dust and related constituents such as silicon and aluminum were associated with lower birth weight, as were the motor-vehicle-related species such as elemental carbon and zinc, and the oil-combustion-associated elements vanadium and nickel. An interquartile range increase in exposure was associated with low birthweight for zinc (12% increase in risk), elemental carbon (13%), silicon (10%), aluminum (11%), vanadium (8%), and nickel (11%). Analysis by trimester showed effects of third-trimester exposure to elemental carbon, nickel, vanadium, and oil-combustion PM2.5.
Exposures of pregnant women to higher levels of certain PM2.5 chemical constituents originating from specific sources are associated with lower birth weight.

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    • "Prenatal and perinatal exposures to air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, have been shown to adversely affect birth outcomes (Bell et al., 2010; Calderon-Garciduenas et al., 2011; Ezziane, 2013; Freire et al., 2010; Lakshmi et al., 2013; Munroe and Gauvain, 2012; Padula et al., 2013; Tang et al., 2014). Associated complications include developmental delay (Tang et al., 2014), congenital heart defects (Padula et al., 2013), low birth weight (Bell et al., 2010; Ezziane, 2013), cognitive deficits (Calderon-Garciduenas et al., 2011; Freire et al., 2010; Munroe and Gauvain, 2012), and mortality (Ezziane, 2013; Lakshmi et al., 2013). Prior research has shown residential proximity to point source pollution to be positively associated with congenital malformations, including chromosomal anomalies (Brender et al., 2008) and neural tube defects (Suarez et al., 2007), increased allergen-specific immunoglobulin-E in children (Patel et al., 2011), adverse birth outcomes (i.e. "
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    • "They can also predict a larger suite of pollutants than the standard monitor networks, a fact that dovetails with the recent push toward a multi-pollutant approach to air pollution epidemiology (Mauderly et al. (2010)). The models' characterization of a variety of PM components is noteworthy given the evidence for differential toxicity between species (Bell et al. (2009)), particularly in terms of gestational health end-points (Bell et al. (2010); Brauer and Tamburic (2009); see Dadvand et al. (2013) for a meta-analysis). Indeed, a number of recent studies have used CMAQ or similar models to estimate speciated PM exposure in gestational health studies. "
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