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Building Healthy Cities Resource Bin

Special Edition: Air Pollution

Week of March 16, 2021

This email provides a weekly summary of collected resources that are relevant to BHC's activities. The full content can be found at the individual links below or upon request. If there are resources you would like to share with the BHC team, please send them to Lauren Azmon at

New Resource Bin Content

Last week, the Building Healthy Cities team published a short video titled "How Air Pollution Impacts Maternal and Child Health" in honor of International Women's Day. This resource bin is dedicated to sharing some of the resources the team used to develop this video. One of BHC's focus areas is environmental health, which includes air pollution. 

Title: The association between air pollution and preterm birth and low birth weight in Guangdong, China
Source: BMC Public Health
Authors: Liu, Y., Xu, J., Chen, D. et al
Publication Date: 03 January 2019
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
A mountain of evidence has shown that people’s physical and mental health can be affected by various air pollutions. Poor pregnancy outcomes are associated with exposure to air pollution. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the association between air pollutions (PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, CO, and O3) and preterm birth/low birth weight in Guangdong province, China. This study provides further evidence for the relationships between air pollutions and preterm birth/low birth weight. Pregnant women are recommended to reduce or avoid exposure to air pollutions during pregnancy, especially in the early and late stages of pregnancy.

Title: Clean Air for the Children 
Source: UNICEF
Authors: UNICEF
Publication Date: October 2016
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
This report looks at how children, particularly the most disadvantaged, are affected by air pollution. It points out that around 300 million children live in areas where the air is toxic – exceeding international limits by at least six times – and that children are uniquely vulnerable to air pollution, breathing faster than adults on average and taking in more air relative to their body weight. The report also notes that air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under age 5 every year and threatens the health, lives and futures of millions more. It concludes with a set of concrete steps to take so that children can breathe clean, safe air.

Title: Air pollution and female fertility: a systematic review of literature
Source: Reprod Biol Endocrinol 16
Authors: Conforti, A., Mascia, M., Cioffi, G. et al.
Publication Date: 30 December 2018
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
Air pollution is a cause of concern for human health. For instance, it is associated with an increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. In vitro and in vivo studies suggested that air pollutants could act as endocrine disruptors, promote oxidative stress and exert genotoxic effect. Whether air pollution affects female infertility is under debate. The aim of the present study was to conduct a systematic review of studies that evaluated the impact of air pollution on female infertility.

Title: Estimation of pregnancy losses attributable to exposure to ambient fine particles in south Asia: an epidemiological case-control study
Source: The Lancet
Authors: Tao Xue, Tianjia Guan, Guannan Geng, Qiang Zhang, Yong Zhao, Tong Zhu
Publication Date: January 2021
Summary and content relevant to BHC:
Maternal exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM2·5) is associated with pregnancy loss (ie, stillbirth and miscarriage). South Asia has the highest burden of pregnancy loss globally and is one of the most PM2·5 polluted regions in the world. However, knowledge of the relevant exposure–response function for mothers is insufficient. Our findings add to epidemiological evidence of the association between pregnancy loss and PM2·5. Suboptimal air quality contributes to a considerable fraction of total pregnancy loss in south Asia. Controlling PM2·5 pollution will promote maternal health in south Asia.
BHC is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-17-00028, beginning September 30, 2017. BHC is implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) with partners International Organization for Migration, Thrive Networks Global, and Urban Institute, and with support from Engaging Inquiry, LLC.
For up-to-date project news, visit our website or search #BuildingHealthyCities on Twitter. All platforms are linked below.
Copyright © 2021 JSI Research & Training, Inc., All rights reserved.

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