Lifetime exposure to ambient pollution and lung function in children

Mary B. Rice, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Augusto A. Litonjua, Emily Oken, Matthew W. Gillman, Itai Kloog, Heike Luttmann-Gibson, Antonella Zanobetti, Brent A. Coull, Joel Schwartz, Petros Koutrakis, Murray A. Mittleman, Diane R. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Rationale: Few studies have examined associations between exposure to air pollution and childhood lung function after implementation of strict air quality regulations in the 1990s. Objectives: To assess traffic-related pollution exposure and childhood lung function. Methods: We geocoded addresses for 614 mother-child pairs enrolled during pregnancy in the Boston area 1999-2002 and followed them until a mid-childhood visit (median age, 7.7). We calculated the proximity of the home to the nearestmajor roadway. We estimated first year of life, lifetime, and prior-year exposure to particulatematter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 mm(PM2.5) by a hybrid model using satellite-derived aerosol optical depth, and to black carbon (BC) by a land-use regression model. Measurements and Main Results: Residential proximity to roadway and prior-year and lifetime PM2.5 and BC exposure were all associated with lower FVC. Associations with FEV1 were also negative and proportionally similar. Pollution exposures were not associated with the FEV1/FVC ratio or bronchodilator response. Compared with distances greater than or equal to 400m, living less than 100 m from a major roadwaywas associatedwith lower FVC(298.6 ml; 2176.3 to 221.0). Each 2 mg/m3 increment in prior-year PM2.5 was associated with lower FVC (221.8ml;243.9 to 0.2) and higher odds of FEV1 less than 80% predicted (1.41; 1.03-1.93). Each 0.2 mg/m3 increment in prior-yearBCwas associated with a 38.9ml (270.4 to27.3) lower FVC. Conclusions: Estimates of long-term exposure to ambient pollution, including proximity to major roadway, PM2.5, and BC (a traffic-related PM2.5 constituent), were associated with lower lung function in this Boston-area cohort of children with relatively low pollution exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-888
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Outdoor air pollution
  • Spirometry
  • Traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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