265982 Maternal exposure to hazardous air pollutants and birth defects among offspring: Texas, 1999-2008

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Anushuya Ramakrishnan, MPH , Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, UT-School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Philip J. Lupo, PhD , Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, UT School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Stephen H. Linder, PhD , School of Public Health, The University of Texas, Houston, TX
Peter H. Langlois, PhD , Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX
Elena Craft, PhD , Climate Expert Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Austin, TX
Birth defects occur in approximately 1 out of every 33 births and are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States. Those who survive often have disabilities and require lifelong medical care. In spite of the clinical significance and prevalence of these conditions, little is known about their etiologies. Environmental toxicants have long been suspected as being associated with disease risk. Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene are an important group of environmental toxicants commonly found in the air environment that are known or suspected to cause serious health effects. In fact, recent work in Texas suggests maternal exposure to outdoor levels of benzene is associated with neural tube defects, a malformation of the central nervous system. However, much work remains to evaluate the relationship between other HAPs and other birth defects. Therefore we proposed a case-control study to examine the association between HAPs and birth defects in the State of Texas. Texas is an ideal location to assess this association as it has both high and variable levels of several HAPs, and it is home to the Texas Birth Defects Registry (TBDR), one of the world's largest active surveillance systems of birth defects. Data on cases delivered between 1999 and 2008 were provided by the TBDR. The control group was a random sample of live births for the same period. Census tract-level estimates of HAPs concentrations were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1999 Assessment System for Population Exposure Nationwide (ASPEN). We will use logistic regression to determine the association between HAPs and selected birth defect phenotypes. Results of this study should inform policy to protect maternal health and reduce harmful exposures.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the association between maternal exposure to environmental levels of hazardous air pollutants and oral clefts among offspring in Texas for the period 1999-2008. 2. Describe the levels of exposure to hazardous air pollutants by census tract for the population of Texas during 1999-2008.

Keywords: Birth Defects, Hazardous Air Pollutants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I will be presenting the results of my thesis focusing on maternal exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants and Birth Defects in the state of Texas: 1999-2008
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.