Understanding the impact of air pollution at the start of life: using geographic variation in air pollution, census and administrative data to measure air pollution’s impact on the unborn child

Dibben, C. (2015) Geography and Environment Dept Seminar, University of Southampton, UK, 9 December 2015 [SLS]

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It is now widely recognised, from studies in many different countries, that air pollution has adverse effects on human health and explains a significant proportion of the global burden of disease. Recent work has also suggested that air pollution may have a negative effect on the outcomes of pregnancy, such as birthweight and prematurity. However, although these studies have enhanced knowledge and understanding of the risks of air pollution to foetuses, caution is still needed when interpreting the findings collectively because of important differences in methodological approaches. Importantly, the majority of studies use the nearest monitor method to estimate maternal exposure for both the entire pregnancy and trimester specific periods, which averages pollutant concentrations from the nearest (static) monitor to the mother's residential location. In this talk I will outline why landuse based regression approaches may in fact be a better method for estimating exposure, discuss the results from two studies in Scotland and consider how reconstructing historical air pollution environments may help with the understanding of aetiology of diseases in later life.

Available online: Link
Output from project: 2007_011


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