Ambient Air Pollution and Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Natural Experiment

Cheng Huang, George Washington University

ABSTRACT Radical regulations were implemented prior to and during the Beijing Olympics Games of 2008, and consequently air pollutants were reduced in a short window of time, which presents an excellent opportunity to test the relationship between ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes as a natural experiment. We used birth outcome data from 50,874 live births delivered between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010 at the Beijing Haidian Maternal and Child Health Hospital and air monitoring data on ambient concentrations of NO2, SO2, CO, and PM10. We used multi-pollutant models to estimate the effect of pollutants during three trimesters of gestation on preterm birth status among all live births and on birth weight among term babies. The results suggest that exposure to ambient air pollution during certain period of pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm birth and decrease birth weight, but the effect size is small.

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Presented in Session 4: Population and Environment I