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Hum Reprod. 2003 Mar;18(3):638-43.

Exposure to air pollution during different gestational phases contributes to risks of low birth weight.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Medical Research Center, Ewha Womans University, 911-1, Mok-6-Dong, Yangcheon-Gu, Seoul, Korea 158-710.



Although there have been growing concerns about the adverse effects of air pollution on birth outcomes, little is known about which specific exposure times of specific pollutants contribute to low birth weight (LBW).


We evaluated the relationships between LBW and air pollution exposure levels in Seoul, Korea. Using the air pollution data, we estimated the exposure during each trimester and also during each month of pregnancy on the basis of the gestational age and birth date of each newborn. Generalized additive logistic regression analyses were conducted considering infant sex, birth order, maternal age, parental education level, time trend, and gestational age.


The monthly analyses suggested that the risks for LBW tended to increase with carbon monoxide (CO) exposure between months 2-5 of pregnancy, with exposure to particles <10 micro m (PM(10)) in months 2 and 4, and for sulphur dioxide (SO(2)) and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) exposure between months 3-5.


This study suggests that exposure to CO, PM(10,) SO(2) and NO(2) during early to mid pregnancy contribute to risks for LBW.

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