News from ISGlobal
A study codirected by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by ”la Caixa”, and the French Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (INSERM), in collaboration with other European teams, concludes that early life exposure to different chemicals – parabens, phthalates and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – is associated with reduced lung function in children. The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, was performed with data from more than 1,000 mother-child pairs and is one of the first to apply a comprehensive exposome approach.
We are continuously and simultaneously exposed to a wide range of environmental factors including changing climate, air pollution in urban settings and at home and chemical substances. The totality of these exposures is referred to as the exposome. To date, numerous studies have addressed the effect of environmental determinants on respiratory health, but most had focussed on single exposures or a single family of chemicals.
“This is the first study that applies an exposome approach to identify associations between pre- and childhood exposure to a range of important environmental factors and impairment of lung function, thereby representing a new paradigm in environmental health research”, explains Martine Vrijheid, ISGlobal researcher and co-coordinator of the study.
“These findings have important implications for public health”, concludes Martine Vrijheid. “Preventive measures to reduce exposure to the chemical substances identified, including a stricter regulation and the labelling of consumer products to better inform the public, could help prevent lung function impairment in childhood and benefit health in the long-term”, she adds.
Lydiane Agier, et al. Early-life exposome and lung function in children in Europe: an analysis of data from the longitudinal, population-based HELIX cohort.The Lancet Planetary Health. February 5, 2019. 10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30010-5.