Prenatal Ambient Ultrafine Particle Exposure leads to Childh
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Due to their increased oxidative capacity and potential to translocate systemically, ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs; less than 0.1 microm) may be more hazardous than other pollution components. The development of asthma in offspring has been linked to prenatal UFP exposure.

Researchers used daily UFP exposure estimates to identify susceptible windows of prenatal UFP exposure with asthma in children, accounting for sex-specific effects. Analyses included 376 mother-child dyads followed since pregnancy. Daily UFP exposure during pregnancy was estimated using a spatiotemporally-resolved particle number concentration prediction model. Bayesian distributed lag interaction models (BDLIMs) were used to identify sensitive windows for UFP exposure, and examine whether effect estimates varied by sex.

Incident asthma was determined at first report of asthma. Covariates included maternal age, education, race, and obesity, child sex, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and temperature averaged over gestation, and postnatal UFP exposure.

--Women were 37.8% Black and 43.9% Hispanic with 52.9% reporting less than high school education; 18.4% of children developed asthma.

--The cumulative odds ratio for incident asthma, per doubling of UFP exposure level across pregnancy was 4.28 impacting males and females similarly.

--BDLIMs indicated sex differences in the sensitive windows with the highest risk of asthma in females exposed to higher UFPs during late pregnancy.

Prenatal UFP exposure, in particular, was linked to the development of asthma in offspring, regardless of correlating ambient NO2 and temperature. Future research and policymakers evaluating appropriate restrictions to limit the negative impacts of UFP on child respiratory health will benefit from the findings.