Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Pediatric Embryonal Tumors

Shwetha Vasanth Kumar, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Vehicular emissions are major contributors towards air pollution and there is a growing body of evidence supporting the negative impact of road traffic-related air pollution on children’s health. Pediatric embryonal cancers are rare and predominantly have an unknown etiology. Many of these tumors have very few or no associated risk factors. We conducted a population-based study to assess the association between residential proximity to major roadways at birth and the risk of four rare childhood embryonal cancers: retinoblastoma, nephroblastoma, neuroblastoma and hepatoblastoma diagnosed in children less than 5 years of age in Texas, 2003-2009. The at-birth exposure to traffic related air pollution was determined by measuring the proximity of the maternal residence at the time of delivery to major roadways as well as the density of roadways within a radius of 500m. Our results indicated that children born to mothers living within 500 meters of the nearest major roadway were more likely to develop embryonal tumors (OR: 1.32 [95% CI:1.04-1.67]). We also found that children born to mothers exposed to medium roadway density (>0 and <2.07km within 500m residential radius) and high roadway density (?2.07km within 500m residential radius) were also more likely to develop embryonal tumors (medium roadway density = (OR: 1.39 [95% CI: 1.08-1.79]) and high roadway density= (OR: 1.22 [95% CI: 0.93-1.59])). The findings of our study suggest that mothers who live in close proximity to a roadway or in areas with high and medium roadway density have higher risk of giving birth to children diagnosed with an embryonal tumor.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kumar, Shwetha Vasanth, "Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Pediatric Embryonal Tumors" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10617350.