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Ambient Air Toxic Releases and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Carman, April E (2009) Ambient Air Toxic Releases and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Previous studies have shown that women exposed to certain air pollutants are at an increased risk for preterm delivery and/or delivering a low birth weight newborn. Preterm delivery and low birth weight are associated with an increased risk for morbidity and mortality. In an effort to better understand the impact of local environmental factors on pregnancy health, duration and outcomes, this study investigated the relationship of hazardous air pollutant chemicals released by local industries and the adverse pregnancy outcomes of preterm delivery and term low birth weight in Allegheny County, PA.This study included 2,798 singleton birth records for deliveries that occurred in Allegheny County in January through March of 2004. The Toxic Release Inventory provided data for 2003 fugitive and stack air releases of all facilities in Allegheny County reporting air releases of lead and toluene. This data was used for determining proxy maternal exposure measurements. ArcGIS software was used to calculate the distance from each maternal residence to each TRI facility. The distances and reported total pounds of release from each facility were then used to calculate a total lead and toluene exposure value for every birth record. Binary logistic regression was used to assess maternal characteristics' effects on birth outcomes. Chi square tests were used to assess maternal characteristics and levels of exposure to lead and toluene. Chi square tests and binary logistic regression were then used to assess pregnancy outcomes in relation to quartiles of exposure.This study found that mothers with certain age, race, education, and marital characteristics were significantly associated with lower exposure levels of lead and toluene. However, exposure to higher levels of lead or toluene, as measured in this study, was not significantly associated with an increased risk for preterm delivery or term low birth weight.Adverse pregnancy outcomes negatively impact an individual's immediate and lifelong health. Decreasing the incidence of preterm delivery and low birth weight are of great importance to public health. Research that helps to identify environmental determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes is of vital public health significance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Carman, April
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAbatemarco, Dianedja17@pitt.eduDJA17
Committee MemberVolz, Conrad Dcdv5@pitt.eduCDV5
Committee MemberSharma, Ravirks1946@pitt.eduRKS1946
Date: 29 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 16 April 2009
Approval Date: 29 June 2009
Submission Date: 8 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: GIS; low birth weight; toluene; toxic release inventory; TRI; lead; preterm delivery
Other ID:, etd-04082009-100735
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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