Relationship of ambient air pollutants and hazardous household factors with birth weight among Bedouin-Arabs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Air pollution and meteorology exposures during pregnancy have been suggested to be associated with Birth Weight (BW). Yet, the individual medical background and close household environment is rarely addressed. We aimed to evaluate the independent association of BW with meteorological and air pollution exposures during pregnancy, in addition to individual, parental and household risk factors, among the Bedouin-Arab population in Southern Israel; a semi nomadic population, featured by low socio-economic levels and poor housing and household environment. Methods: In a retrospective cohort study we enrolled pregnant women upon their arrival in the local hospital for delivery during December 2011-April 2013. We interviewed the women and collected data on socio-demographic characteristics, medical history and household environmental hazards. Air pollution (NO2, SO2, CO, Ozone and Particulate Matter <2.5 μ and 10 μ in diameter) and meteorological data (temperature, relative humidity), retrieved from 13 monitoring sites, were linked to each woman based on the proximity of her residential address. Results: A total of 959 women were eligible for the study, half of them resided in temporary tribal localities. Ozone IQR elevation in the 3rd trimester was associated with 0.119 gr decrease in BW (95%CI -0.127 gr; -0.112 gr); temperature IQR elevation in the 3rd trimester was associated with 0.002 gr (95%CI -0.004 gr; -0.001 gr) decrease in BW. Waste in the house surroundings was associated with a decrease of 117.27 gr in BW (95%CI -209.19 gr; -25.34 gr). Conclusion: Although exposure to high levels of temperature and O3 were associated with lower BW, the contribution of poor household environment indicators to BW reduction was substantially higher.

publication date

  • July 1, 2016