The influence of industry-related air pollution on birth outcomes in an industrialized area

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Abstract

Recent studies suggests that air pollution, from among others road traffic, can influence growth and development of the human foetus during pregnancy. The effects of air pollution from heavy industry on birth outcomes have been investigated scarcely. Our aim was to investigate the associations of air pollution from heavy industry on birth outcomes. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 4488 singleton live births (2012–2017) in the vicinity of a large industrial area in the Netherlands. Information from the birth registration was linked with a dispersion model to characterize annual individual-level exposure of pregnant mothers to air pollutants from industry in the area. Associations between particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC) with low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth (PTB), and small for gestational age (SGA) were investigated by logistic regression analysis and with gestational age, birth weight, birth length, and head circumference by linear regression analysis. Exposures to NOX, SO2, and VOC (per interquartile range of 1.16, 0.42, and 0.97 μg/m3 respectively) during pregnancy were associated with LBW (OR 1.20, 95%CI 1.06–1.35, OR 1.20, 95%CI 1.00–1.43, and OR 1.21, 95%CI 1.08–1.35 respectively). NOX and VOC were also associated with PTB (OR 1.14, 95%CI 1.01–1.29 and OR 1.17, 95%CI 1.04–1.31 respectively). Associations between exposure to air pollution and birth weight, birth length, and head circumference were statistically significant. Higher exposure to PM10, NOX, SO2 and VOC (per interquartile range of 0.41, 1.16, 0.42, and 0.97 μg/m3 respectively) was associated with reduced birth weight of 21 g to 30 g. The 90th percentile industry-related PM10 exposure corresponded with an average birth weight decrease of 74 g.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115741
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume269
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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