Prevention of Health Effects in Children from Energy-Related Air Pollution

Prevention of Health Effects in Children from Energy-Related Air Pollution

 Frederica Perera, Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, and Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. (Fpp1@columbia.edu) spoke on the prevention of health-effects in children from energy-related air pollution.

She then described her studies of pregnant women in New York City, Poland and China (Figure 3.1) in which biomarkers were used to monitor the effects of pollution. These studies revealed the effect of prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on foetal growth and development (Figure 3.2).

Click on images to enlarge:

 Dr. Perera then detailed a remarkable study performed in Tongliang,

China (Figures 3.3, 3.4, 3.5) wherein a power plant was causing much pollution. The design of the study was to examine three cohorts of children: one before the power plant was shut down, one shortly after the shut down and one later (Figures 3.6 and 3.7).

Click on images to enlarge:

Figures 3.8, 3.9, 3.10 show the results of air monitoring prior to plant closure. This includes documentation of PAH exposure by estimation of PAH-DNA adducts (Figures 3.8 and 3.9), and effects on foetal growth and child development (Figure 3.10). These studies were repeated after the power plant was closed. Figures 3.11 and 3.12 show the effects of this intervention. The findings to date are summarized in Figure 3.13 and the next steps in this on-going study are described in Figure 3.14. Collaboration and support of the study is described in Figures 3.15 and 3.16.

Click on images to enlarge: