Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: The Potential Effects of Policy-driven Air Pollution Interventions on Childhood Lung Development.

Authors: Urman, Robert; Garcia, Erika; Berhane, Kiros; McConnell, Rob; Gauderman, W James; Gilliland, Frank

Published In Am J Respir Crit Care Med, (2020 02 15)

Abstract: Rationale: Although elevated air pollution exposure impairs lung-function development in childhood, it remains a challenge to use this information to estimate the potential public health benefits of air pollution interventions in exposed populations.Objectives: Apply G-computation to estimate hypothetical effects of several realistic scenarios for future air pollution reductions on lung growth.Methods: Mixed-effects linear regression was used to estimate FEV1 and FVC from age 11 to 15 years in 2,120 adolescents across 3 cohorts (1993-2001, 1997-2004, and 2007-2011). Models included regional pollutants (nitrogen dioxide [NO2] or particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 μm [PM2.5]) and other important covariates. Using G-computation, a causal inference-based method, we then estimated changes in mean lung growth in our population for hypothetical interventions on either NO2 or PM2.5. Confidence intervals (CIs) were computed by bootstrapping (N = 1,000).Measurements and Main Results: Compared with the effects of exposure from observed NO2 concentrations during the study period, had communities remained at 1994 to 1997 NO2 levels, FEV1 and FVC growth were estimated to have been reduced by 2.7% (95% CI, -3.6 to -1.8) and 4.2% (95% CI, -5.2 to -3.4), respectively. If NO2 concentrations had been reduced by 30%, we estimated a 4.4% increase in FEV1 growth (95% CI, 2.8-5.9) and a 7.1% increase in FVC growth (95% CI, 5.7-8.6). Comparable results were observed for PM2.5 interventions.Conclusions: We estimated that substantial increases in lung function would occur as a result of interventions that reduce NO2 or PM2.5 concentrations. These findings provide a quantification of potential health benefits of air quality improvement.

PubMed ID: 31644884 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Air Pollution/adverse effects*; Air Pollution/legislation & jurisprudence*; Air Pollution/prevention & control*; Air Pollution/statistics & numerical data; Child; Child Development/drug effects; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects*; Environmental Exposure/legislation & jurisprudence*; Environmental Exposure/prevention & control*; Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data; Female; Forced Expiratory Volume/physiology; Humans; Lung/growth & development*; Male

to Top