222460 Does Community Vulnerability Amplify the Relationship Between Traffic Exposure and Adverse Birth Outcomes? A University-State-USEPA Research Collaborative on Environmental Health Inequalities

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Rachel A. Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health & Dept of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Bill Jesdale, PhD , Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Paul B. English, PhD , Environmental Health Investigation Branch, CA Dept of Public Health, Richmond, CA
Manuel Pastor, PhD , Departments of American Studies and Geography, Program on Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
James Sadd, PhD , Environmental Sciences, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Debbie Lowe Liang , US EPA, San Francisco, CA
Thomas Plenys , US EPA, San Francisco, CA
Eric Hall, MA , Office Of Research and Development, US EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC
This research project assesses the relationship between traffic exposure and risk of low birth weight and preterm birth, both strong predictors of health status throughout the life course, among 1.5 million births in California during 2001-2006. The analysis also examines whether measures of community and individual vulnerability confound or amplify the adverse effects of these exposures. While previous studies have examined relationships between ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes, most of these studies have not assessed whether and how individual- and area-level measures of community vulnerability affect observed pollutant-perinatal outcome relationships. Preliminary results indicate an increased risk of low birth weight and preterm birth with higher estimated traffic exposures. Effect estimates remain robust after conducting sensitivity analysis using different exposure assessment techniques. This unique collaborative between academic, US EPA, and California Department of Public Health scientists produced a novel application of GIS spatial analysis to estimate traffic exposure metrics for every census block in the state. Results of this collaborative study will enhance understanding about how source-specific measures, such as traffic burden, can elucidate policy-relevant opportunities for environmental agencies to reduce community exposure to multiple pollutants by taking actions such as targeting enforcement actions, encouraging voluntary reductions, and requiring mitigations.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare traffic exposure assessment methods on effect estimates. Analyze potential confounding or effect modification of individual- and area-level measures of vulnerability on observed pollutant health outcome relationships.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor in environmental health science and have worked on air pollution research question for over 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.