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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ESPLUGUES, Ana et al. Air pollutant exposure during pregnancy and fetal and early childhood development: Research protocol of the INMA (Childhood and Environment Project). Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.2, pp.162-171. ISSN 0213-9111.

Introduction: The INMA (INfancia y Medio Ambiente [Spanish for Environment and Childhood]) project is a cooperative research network. This project aims to study the effects of environment and diet on fetal and early childhood development. This article aims to present the air pollutant exposure protocol during pregnancy and fetal and early childhood development of the INMA project. Methods: The information to assess air pollutant exposure during pregnancy is based on outdoor measurement of air pollutants (nitrogen dioxide [NO2], volatile organic compounds [VOC], ozone, particulate matter [PM10, PM2,5 ] and of their composition [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons]); measurement of indoor and personal exposure (VOC and NO2); urinary measurement of a biological marker of hydrocarbon exposure (1-hydroxypyrene); and data gathered by questionnaires and geographic information systems. These data allow individual air pollutant exposure indexes to be developed, which can then be used to analyze the possible effects of exposure on fetal development and child health. Conclusion: This protocol and the type of study allow an approximation to individual air pollutant exposure to be obtained. Finally, the large number of participants (N = 4,000), as well as their geographic and social diversity, increases the study's potential.

Keywords : Air pollution; Pregnancy; Childhood; Fetal development; Cohort study; INMA.

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