Maternal Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes

Peter Franklin, Mark Tan, Naomi Hemy, Graham L. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing body of research on the association between ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes. However, people in high income countries spend most of their time indoors. Pregnant women spend much of that time at home. The aim of this study was to investigate if indoor air pollutants were associated with poor birth outcomes. Pregnant women were recruited prior to 18 weeks gestation. They completed a housing questionnaire and household chemical use survey. Indoor pollutants, formaldehyde (HCHO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), were monitored in the women's homes at 34 weeks gestation. Gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW) and length (BL) and head circumference (HC) were collected from birth records. The associations between measured pollutants, and pollution surrogates, were analysed using general linear models, controlling for maternal age, parity, maternal health, and season of birth. Only HCHO was associated with any of the birth outcomes. There was a 0.044 decrease in BW z-score (p = 0.033) and 0.05 decrease in HC z-score (p = 0.06) for each unit increase in HCHO. Although HCHO concentrations were very low, this finding is consistent with other studies of formaldehyde and poor birth outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1364
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019


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