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Great Lakes Center for Reproductive and Children’s Environmental Health
Monthly Newsletter
July 2021

Prenatal exposure to ultra-fine particles increases a child’s risk of asthma, study finds

Factors from air pollution to drug use can shape fetal and childhood development, but the new study is one of the first to specifically link ultra-fine particle exposure in utero to a higher probability of asthma development in childhood.

Ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are less than 0.1 microns in diameter; a typical human hair is about 50 to 80 microns. They can come from a number of sources, including car exhaust, industrial processes, burning wood or coal, and airplanes taking off and landing. Unlike other air pollutants and slightly larger particles, they aren’t regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency — and their minuscule size amplifies their danger. 

The study found that as the modeled UFP exposure during pregnancy doubled, the odds ratio for incident asthma was 4.28 (1.41–15.7). The highest risk of asthma occurred in female offspring of mothers exposed to higher UFPs during late pregnancy.

Access abstract here:

Ohio Healthy Homes Network Seminar featuring Dr. Nicholas Newman.
Center Member Dr. Nicholas Newman served on the panel for the Ohio Healthy Homes Network (OHHN) webinar titled "Rebuilding the Lead Response After Covid." 
Dr. Newman assessed how Ohio faired in addressing childhood lead poisoning and lead exposure during COVID-19. Access the full webinar here: Webinar
The Region 5 PEHSU has published a new fact sheet on the safety of Quaternary Ammonium for disinfection. The fact sheet is available online:
Who We Are
The Great Lakes Center for Reproductive and Children's Environmental Health (GLRCEH)  serves as the Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) and is funded by EPA and ATSDR. The GLRCEH serves Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It provides telephone consultations, technical assistance, and training from experts in pediatrics, clinical toxicology, and industrial hygiene. You can call our hotline at 866-967-7337.
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This material was supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded (in part) by the cooperative agreement award number 5 NU61TS000296-02-00 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Acknowledgement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSU by providing partial funding to ATSDR under Inter-Agency Agreement number DW-75-95877701. Neither EPA nor ATSDR endorse the purchase of any commercial products or services mentioned in PEHSU publications. 

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Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health · 1603 W Taylor St · Chicago, IL 60612-4310 · USA

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