Urban Development - Planning and Environmental Issues
Urban development encroaches upon the health and welfare of children. Air pollution from increased traffic and industry impacts the welfare of children. Development of oil and gas adjacent to or under homes, schools, day cares, playgrounds, parks, hospitals presents problems for city planners, neighborhoods and school districts. This site is designed as a resource for law makers, activists, and urban planners to utilize in weighing the true cost of some developmental plans on the health and welfare of vulnerable populations.
Many of the same pollutants found in traffic are emitted by natural gas production and transmission
We are including studies on childhood respiratory impairment from traffic to help planners consider the impact of pollution on children when making transportation plans and energy development/transmission plans. Methane, CO2 and other petroleum related air pollutants which have been detected and tracked in the traffic studies are the same gases and particulants which are elevated around some natural gas pipelines and natural gas production sites near homes, schools, playgrounds and parks. As industrial production and transmission of natural gas has encroaches upon neighborhoods, we believe that some of the findings in the traffic studies are worthy of further investigation and evaluation by urban planner permitting new gas wells and pipelines and inspectors overseeing such development.
Studies show that children living near high-traffic corridors have 10% less lung capacity over their lifetime than those living away from heavy traffic.
Project 1: Urban Air Pollution and Persistent Early Life Asthma Principal Investigator: Rob McConnell, PhD Community-Based Participatory Research Project
The goal of this project is to evaluate the relationship between early life asthma and traffic-related air pollution. The research questions have been developed from Children's Environmental Health Center research in cooperation with the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma, a coalition of organizations representing children with asthma in Long Beach, and the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, a community-based organization in Riverside County, CA. These communities have some of the heaviest traffic in southern California. Preliminary results suggest that exposure to oxidant pollutants near homes may be associated with asthma with onset early in life, but there is considerable uncertainty as to these relationships. Center researchers are examining this question in a case-control study of asthma present in kindergarten and first grade, but with onset earlier in life. Children in the study were lifetime residents in the same home so that estimates of exposure at home will reflect lifetime exposure. The investigators have also hypothesized that susceptibility to ambient air pollution will vary based on genotype for GSTM1, GSTP1, NQO1, HO-1, and TNF-alpha, genes involved in the biologic response to oxidant air pollutants.
The research approach is to assess lifetime exposure by calibrating home measurements to the extensive historical exposure assessment from a monitor in each community operating continuously during the lifetime of participants. Traffic density in close proximity to homes is estimated from traffic counts made by the California Department of Transportation. Community participation in study promotion to participants and in data collection and interpretation will enhance both the quality of Center research and the environmental action plans for families of children with asthma in ongoing projects of the community partners.
The presentation of results in terms of the burden of disease in two areas encompassing almost 1 million people represented by community research partners promises to increase the level of local awareness of the health impact of air pollution. A steering committee representing university and community research partners, and policy makers, is working closely with the Community Outreach and Translation Core to provide the scientific basis necessary for developing policy for the more widespread protection of children from the effects of air pollution..
EPA Grant Number: R831861C001 Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R831861 (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center). Center: USC Center for Children’s Environmental Health Center Director: Title: Urban Air Pollution and Persistent Early Life Asthma Investigators: Gilliland, Frank Institution : University of Southern California EPA Project Officer : Fields, Nigel Project Period: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2008 RFA: Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (2003) Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects