USC Environmental Health Centers

Current news, events and research projects of the Environmental Health Centers based at USC

November 1, 2017

New report released documenting research about children's environmental health

USC Environmental Health

A new report released by the EPA and NIEHS about the impact that environmental exposures have on children’s health. Along with Children’s Center’s from across the country, the research of the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center that has been funded by the US EPA and the NIEHS is featured.

“The Children’s Centers examine pressing questions with a wide-angle lens, not allowing the boundaries of any particular field to restrict, define, or determine the array of possible approaches. They bring together experts from many fields, including clinicians, researchers, engineers, social scientists, and others. Relying on a diverse set of disciplines has helped the centers successfully bridge the gap between environmental exposures and health outcomes.” (EPA/NIEHS Children’s Impact Report, Executive Summary).

The report is aims to address the questions and needs of a variety of stakeholders. Image: NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Centers: Impact Report

As referenced in the report, the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center’s research has produced findings related to and including:

  • Maternal exposure to ozone may be associated with reduced birth weight in newborns.
  • Impacts of traffic related air pollution (TRAP) on children’s risk for asthma.
  • Research on the relationship between traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and Autism Spectrum Disorder suggest that late pregnancy and early life are critical windows of exposure. Measuring residential distance to a major roadway is often used as a marker of TRAP.
  • The interaction between genes and the environmental that may contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Being among the first epidemiological studies to indicate that exposure to air pollution is related to body mass index (BMI) in children.
  • Impact of air pollution on children’s lung function, documenting lung growth when children are exposed to higher levels of pollution and improved lung function when levels have decreased over time.
  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy can affect the respiratory health of her child. Maternal and grandmaternal smoking during pregnancy increased risk of childhood asthma.

In addition, infographics developed by the center were recognized as tools that have helped educate communities about the public health risks of pollution and other toxic exposures.

Read the full report here.

Image: NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Centers: Impact Report

Image: NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Centers: Impact Report

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