Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 129–137 | Cite as

Ambient air pollution and pregnancy outcomes—a study of functional form and policy implications

Article

Abstract

We utilize a new data set on ambient air pollution and births from the Salt Lake Valley to study how intensive and cumulative exposure to PM2.5 in the first trimester affect two important pregnancy outcomes—gestational age at birth and the risk of preterm birth. For identification, we use variation in cumulative exposure for siblings from the same mother in subsequent pregnancies, which can be substantial due to the large seasonal and annual variations in the valley. Controlling for other air pollutants and individual confounders, we find strong evidence of reduced gestational age and increased probability of preterm birth resulting from PM2.5 exposure and estimate that the marginal effects are larger as cumulative exposure increases. We find weak evidence of an increased marginal effect of intensive exposure vs. total exposure. As cumulative exposure plays a larger role than intensive exposure, this indicates that policies which decrease average pollution levels can be more effective than policies targeted at peak pollution from a pregnancy perspective.

Keywords

PM2.5 Preterm birth Environmental policy Prenatal exposure 

References

  1. Alexander GR, Himes JH, Kaufman RB, Mor J, Kogan M (1996) A United States national reference for fetal growth. Obstet Gynecol 87(2):163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Behrman R, Butler A (2007) Committee on understanding premature birth and assuring healthy outcomes. Preterm birth: causes, consequences, and prevention. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. Callaghan WM, MacDorman MF, Rasmussen SA, Qin C, Lackritz EM (2006) The contribution of preterm birth to infant mortality rates in the United States. Pediatrics 188(4):1566–1573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chamberlain G (1980) Analysis of covariance with qualitative data. Rev Econ Stud 47:225–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chang H, Reich B, Miranda L (2012) Time-to-event analysis of fine particle air pollution and preterm birth: results from North Carolina, 2001–2005. Am J Epidemiol 175(2):91–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Currie J, Neidell M, Schmeider J (2009) Air pollution and infant health: lessons from New Jersey. J Health Econ 28:688–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Currie J, Heep Ray S, Neidell M (2011) Quasi-experimental studies suggests that lowering air pollution levels benefits infants’ and children’s health. Health Aff 30(12):2391–2399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Haan P (2006) Much ado about nothing: conditional logit vs. random coefficient models for estimating labor supply elasticities. Appl Econ Lett 13(4):251–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Huynh M, Woodruff TJ, Parker JD, Schoendorf KC (2006) Relationships between air pollution and preterm birth in California. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 20:454–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kotelchuck M (1994) Overview of adequacy of prenatal care utilization index; department of maternal and child health. Am J Public Health 84(9):1486–1489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lancaster T (2000) The incidental parameter problem since 1948. J Econ 95(2):391–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Le H, Batterman S, Wirth J, Wahl R, Hoggatt K, Sadeghnejad A, Hultin M, Depa M (2012) Air pollution exposure and preterm and term small for gestational age births in Detroit, Michigan: long-term trends and associations. Environ Int 44:7–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Llop S, Ballester F, Estarlich M, Esplugues A, Rebagliato M, Iniguez C (2010) Preterm birth and exposure to air pollutants during pregnancy. Environ Res 110:778–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pereira G, Belanger K, Ebisu K, Bell M (2014) Fine particulate matter and risk of preterm birth in Connecticut in 2000-2006: a longitudinal study. Am J Epidemiol 179(1):67–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Räisänen S, Gissler M, Saari J, Kramer M, Heinonen S (2013) Contribution of risk factors to extremely, very, and moderately preterm births—register-based analysis of 1,390,742 singleton births. PLoS ONE 8(4):e60660. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060660
  16. Reeves HD, Stensrud DJ (2009) Synoptic-scale flow and valley cold pool evolution in the western United States. Weather Forecast 24:1625–1639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shah P, Balkhair T (2011) Air pollution and birth outcomes: a systematic review. Environ Int 37:498–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Silcox G, Kerry K, Crosman E, Whiteman D, Allen B (2012) Wintertime PM2.5 concentrations during persistent, multi-day cold-air pools in a mountain valley. Atmos Environ 46:17–24Google Scholar
  19. Soilly AL, Lejeune C, Quantin C, Bejean S, Gouyon JB (2014) Economic analysis of the costs associated with prematurity from a literature review. Public Health 128:43–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stieb D, Chen L, Eshoul M, Judek S (2012) Ambient air pollution, birth weight and preterm birth: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Environ Res 117:100–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

Personalised recommendations