Associations between Maternal Residential Proximity to Air Emissions from Industrial Facilities and Low Birth Weight in Texas, USA

Authors: Xi Gong*, University of New Mexico, F. Benjamin Zhan, Texas State University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Environment
Keywords: air pollution, toxic release inventory (TRI) chemicals, low birth weight (LBW), exposure assessment, GIS, spatial analysis, health
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Marshall South, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Most previous studies examining associations between maternal exposures to air pollutants during pregnancy and low birth weight (LBW) in offspring focused on six criteria air pollutants. The relationship between non-criteria air pollutants and LBW is understudied and requires greater coverage. This study investigated associations between maternal residential exposure to industrial air pollutants during pregnancy and LBW in offspring using a case-control study design that included 94,106 term LBW cases and 376,424 controls. It covered 78 air pollutants common to both the Toxics Release Inventory and ground air quality monitoring databases in Texas during 1996-2008. The modified Emission Weighted Proximity Model (EWPM), calibrated with ground monitoring data, was used to estimate maternal residential exposure to industrial air pollutants during pregnancy. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate odds ratios reflecting the associations of maternal exposure to industrial air pollutants and LBW in offspring, adjusted for potential covariates and corrected for multiple comparisons. Relative to the non-exposed reference group, maternal residential exposure to benzene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, cumene, cyclohexane, dichloromethane, ethylbenzene, ethylene, mercury, naphthalene, n-hexane, propylene, styrene, toluene, and zinc was found to have significantly higher odds of LBW in offspring. When the estimated exposures were categorized into four different groups (zero, low, medium, and high) in the analysis, eleven of the fourteen air pollutants remained as significant risk factors. Results indicate that maternal residential proximity to industrial facilities emitting any of the fourteen pollutants identified by this study during pregnancy may be associated with LBW in offspring.

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