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

B. E. Lee, E. H. Ha, H. S. Park, Y. J. Kim, Y. C. Hong, H. Kim, J. T. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Background: 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). Methods: 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. Results: 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 μm (PM10) in months 2 and 4, and for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure between months 3-5. Conclusions: This study suggests that exposure to CO, PM10, SO2 and NO2 during early to mid pregnancy contribute to risks for LBW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-643
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant No. 2000–0-219–003–2 from the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation.


  • Air pollution
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Low birth weight
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • PM
  • Sulphur dioxide


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