Special Issue "The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Reproductive Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sandie Ha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California, Merced, CA, USA
Interests: epidemiology; environmental determinants of health; perinatal health; reproductive health; maternal and child health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the impact of the ambient environment on reproductive health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. 

Parameters of the ambient environment such as air pollution is consistently shown to increase the risk of many adverse health outcomes such as asthma, cardiovascular complications and cancer. Human reproduction is an intricate process with tightly regulated physiologic changes. It is therefore vulnerable to environmental threats, which may have short- and long-term maternal, paternal and foetal consequences. However, the role of the ambient environment on human reproductive outcomes is not clearly understood. Given our increasingly diverse population and the growing complexity of environmental threats, such knowledge is critical for improving reproductive health.

This Special Issue is open to articles investigating the role of the ambient environment on reproductive health, with special focus on common pollutants such as extreme temperature, noise and air pollution, even if the toxicological evidence has not yet been fully established in human studies. We welcome papers on epidemiology, exposure analysis, toxicology and risk assessment, focusing specifically on the effects of air pollution on reproductive health outcomes (e.g., fertility, fecundability, semen quality, preterm birth, low birthweight, fetal growth, pregnancy complications, etc). The listed keywords suggest are just a few of the many possibilities.

We are looking forward to receiving your contribution and creating a special issue that will provide readers with up-to-date insights into the effects of air pollution on human health.

Dr. Sandie Ha
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • pregnancy
  • reproduction
  • birth outcomes
  • environmental health
  • perinatal health
  • ambient environment
  • environmental determinants of health
  • noise
  • temperature

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Maternal Ambient Exposure to Atmospheric Pollutants during Pregnancy and Offspring Term Birth Weight in the Nationwide ELFE Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115806 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Background: Studies have reported associations between maternal exposure to atmospheric pollution and lower birth weight. However, the evidence is not consistent and uncertainties remain. We used advanced statistical approaches to robustly estimate the association of atmospheric pollutant exposure during specific pregnancy time windows [...] Read more.
Background: Studies have reported associations between maternal exposure to atmospheric pollution and lower birth weight. However, the evidence is not consistent and uncertainties remain. We used advanced statistical approaches to robustly estimate the association of atmospheric pollutant exposure during specific pregnancy time windows with term birth weight (TBW) in a nationwide study. Methods: Among 13,334 women from the French Longitudinal Study of Children (ELFE) cohort, exposures to PM2.5, PM10 (particles < 2.5 µm and <10 µm) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) were estimated using a fine spatio-temporal exposure model. We used inverse probability scores and doubly robust methods in generalized additive models accounting for spatial autocorrelation to study the association of such exposures with TBW. Results: First trimester exposures were associated with an increased TBW. Second trimester exposures were associated with a decreased TBW by 17.1 g (95% CI, −26.8, −7.3) and by 18.0 g (−26.6, −9.4) for each 5 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 and PM10, respectively, and by 15.9 g (−27.6, −4.2) for each 10 µg/m3 increase in NO2. Third trimester exposures (truncated at 37 gestational weeks) were associated with a decreased TBW by 48.1 g (−58.1, −38.0) for PM2.5, 38.1 g (−46.7, −29.6) for PM10 and 14.7 g (−25.3, −4.0) for NO2. Effects of pollutants on TBW were larger in rural areas. Conclusions: Our results support an adverse effect of air pollutant exposure on TBW. We highlighted a larger effect of air pollutants on TBW among women living in rural areas compared to women living in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health)
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Article
Air Pollution Exposure Monitoring among Pregnant Women with and without Asthma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134888 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Background: We monitored exposure to fine particulates (PM2.5), ozone, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ambient temperature for pregnant women with and without asthma. Methods: Women (n = 40) from the Breathe—Well-Being, Environment, Lifestyle, and Lung Function Study [...] Read more.
Background: We monitored exposure to fine particulates (PM2.5), ozone, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ambient temperature for pregnant women with and without asthma. Methods: Women (n = 40) from the Breathe—Well-Being, Environment, Lifestyle, and Lung Function Study (2015–2018) were enrolled during pregnancy and monitored for 2–4 days. Daily pollutants were measured using personal air monitors, indoor air monitors, and nearest Environmental Protection Agency’s stationary monitors based on GPS tracking and home address. Results: Personal-monitor measurements of PM2.5, ozone, and NO2 did not vary by asthma status but exposure profiles significantly differed by assessment methods. EPA stationary monitor-based methods appeared to underestimate PM2.5 and temperature exposure and overestimate ozone and NO2 exposure. Higher indoor-monitored PM2.5 exposures were associated with smoking and the use of gas appliances. The proportion of waking-time during which personal monitors were worn was ~56%. Lower compliance was associated with exercise, smoking, being around a smoker, and the use of a prescription drug. Conclusions: Exposure did not vary by asthma status but was influenced by daily activities and assessment methods. Personal monitors may better capture exposures but non-compliance merits attention. Meanwhile, larger monitoring studies are warranted to further understand exposure profiles and the health effects of air pollution during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health)
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Article
Associations between Vehicle Exhaust Particles and Ozone at Home Address and Birth Weight
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113836 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
We have studied the associations between exhaust particles and birth weight. Adjustments were made for ozone and potential confounding factors at the individual level. The study included all singletons conceived between August 2003 and February 2013 with mothers living in Greater Stockholm. We [...] Read more.
We have studied the associations between exhaust particles and birth weight. Adjustments were made for ozone and potential confounding factors at the individual level. The study included all singletons conceived between August 2003 and February 2013 with mothers living in Greater Stockholm. We obtained record-based register data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. Data concerning the parents were provided by Statistics Sweden. Exposure levels for nearly 187,000 pregnancies were calculated using a validated air quality dispersion model with input from a detailed emission database. A higher socioeconomic status was associated with higher levels of exhaust particles at the home address. In this region, with rather low air pollution levels, the associations between levels of exhaust particles and birth weight were negative for all three of the studied exposure windows (i.e., first and second trimester and full pregnancy). For the entire pregnancy, the linear decrease in birth weight was 7.5 grams (95% CI−12.0; −2.9) for an increase in exposure, corresponding to the inter quartile range (IQR = 209 ng/m3). We also found that the risk of being born small for gestational age increased with the level of exhaust particles in all three exposure windows, but these associations were not statistically significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health)
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Article
Maternal Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Pregnancy Complications in Victoria, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072572 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
The relationship between maternal exposure to ambient air pollution and pregnancy complications is not well characterized. We aimed to explore the relationship between maternal exposure to ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and hypertensive disorders of [...] Read more.
The relationship between maternal exposure to ambient air pollution and pregnancy complications is not well characterized. We aimed to explore the relationship between maternal exposure to ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and placental abruption. Using administrative data, we defined a state-wide cohort of singleton pregnancies born between 1 March 2012 and 31 December 2015 in Victoria, Australia. Annual average NO2 and PM2.5 was assigned to maternal residence at the time of birth. 285,594 singleton pregnancies were included. An IQR increase in NO2 (3.9 ppb) was associated with reduced likelihood of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (RR 0.89; 95%CI 0.86, 0.91), GDM (RR 0.92; 95%CI 0.90, 0.94) and placental abruption (RR 0.81; 95%CI 0.69, 0.95). Mixed observations and smaller effect sizes were observed for IQR increases in PM2.5 (1.3 µg/m3) and pregnancy complications; reduced likelihood of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (RR 0.95; 95%CI 0.93, 0.97), increased likelihood of GDM (RR 1.02; 95%CI 1.00, 1.03) and no relationship for placental abruption. In this exploratory study using an annual metric of exposure, findings were largely inconsistent with a priori expectations and further research involving temporally resolved exposure estimates are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health)
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Article
Potential Increased Risk of Trisomy 18 Observed After a Fertilizer Warehouse Fire in Brazos County and TX
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072561 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Background: In this paper, we aimed to investigate the potential impacts of a fire accident in a fertilizer warehouse on chromosomal anomalies, including Trisomy 21 (T21) and Trisomy (T18) among pregnancies in Brazos County, Texas. We conducted an observational study in Brazos County, [...] Read more.
Background: In this paper, we aimed to investigate the potential impacts of a fire accident in a fertilizer warehouse on chromosomal anomalies, including Trisomy 21 (T21) and Trisomy (T18) among pregnancies in Brazos County, Texas. We conducted an observational study in Brazos County, TX, with all patients of T18 and T21 cases in the live births in Brazos County between 2005–2014. The prevalence of T18 and T21 before, during, and after the accident in Brazos County were calculated and compared. The Standardized Morbidity Ratio (SMR) was applied to compare the prevalence of T18 and T21 in Brazos County to the statewide prevalence in Texas after adjusting for maternal race and age. Compared with statewide risk, the risk of T18 during the impacted years in Brazos county was found to be significantly higher (SMR = 5.0, 95% Confidence Interval(CI): 2.19–9.89), while there was no significant difference before (SMR = 0.77, 0.13–2.54) and after the accident (SMR = 0.71, 0.12–2.36). However, the prevalence of T21 during the impacted years was not significantly different from those before or after the accident. This study conclusively suggests that this fertilizer fire may be related to the increased prevalence of T18 in Brazos County, though the findings warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ambient Environment and Reproductive Health)
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