9 research outputs found

    Immigrants from Mexico are more likely to be exposed to industrial pollution in wealthy regions of the US

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    Environmental factors greatly contribute to inequality in the United States. Research by Maryia Bakhtsiyarava and Raphael Nawrotzki looks at the relationship between an area’s level of industrial pollution and the presence of immigrants. They find that while most international immigrants to the US tend to migrate to less polluted areas, immigrants from Mexico are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards in wealthy areas, , which perpetuates their vulnerable status

    Ambient temperature and term birthweight in Latin American cities.

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    BackgroundExtreme temperatures may lead to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, including low birthweight. Studies on the impact of temperature on birthweight have been inconclusive due to methodological challenges related to operationalizing temperature exposure, the definitions of exposure windows, accounting for gestational age, and a limited geographic scope.MethodsWe combined data on individual-level term live births (N≈15 million births) from urban areas in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico from 2010 to 2015 from the SALURBAL study (Urban Health in Latin America) with high-resolution daily air temperature data and computed average ambient temperature for every month of gestation for each newborn. Associations between full-term birthweight and average temperature during gestation were analyzed using multi-level distributed lag non-linear models that adjusted for newborn's sex, season of conception, and calendar year of child's birth; controlled for maternal age, education, partnership status, presence of previous births, and climate zone; and included a random term for the sub-city of mother's residence.FindingsHigher temperatures during the entire gestation are associated with lower birthweight, particularly in Mexico and Brazil. The cumulative effect of temperature on birthweight is mostly driven by exposure to higher temperatures during months 7-9 of gestation. Higher maternal education can attenuate the temperature-birthweight associations.InterpretationOur work shows that climate-health impacts are likely to be context- and place-specific and warrants research on temperature and birthweight in diverse climates to adequately anticipate global climate change. Given the high societal cost of suboptimal birthweight, public health efforts should be aimed at diminishing the detrimental effect of higher temperatures on birthweight.FundingThe Wellcome Trust

    Greenness and excess deaths from heat in 323 Latin American cities: Do associations vary according to climate zone or green space configuration?

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    Green vegetation may protect against heat-related death by improving thermal comfort. Few studies have investigated associations of green vegetation with heat-related mortality in Latin America or whether associations are modified by the spatial configuration of green vegetation. We used data from 323 Latin American cities and meta-regression models to estimate associations between city-level greenness, quantified using population-weighted normalized difference vegetation index values and modeled as three-level categorical terms, and excess deaths from heat (heat excess death fractions [heat EDFs]). Models were adjusted for city-level fine particulate matter concentration (PM2.5), social environment, and country group. In addition to estimating overall associations, we derived estimates of association stratified by green space clustering by including an interaction term between a green space clustering measure (dichotomized at the median of the distribution) and the three-level greenness variable. We stratified analyses by climate zone (arid vs. temperate and tropical combined). Among the 79 arid climate zone cities, those with moderate and high greenness levels had modestly lower heat EDFs compared to cities with the lowest greenness, although protective associations were more substantial in cities with moderate versus high greenness levels and confidence intervals (CI) crossed the null (Beta: −0.41, 95% CI: −1.06, 0.25; Beta −0.23, 95% CI: −0.95, 0.49, respectively). In 244 non-arid climate zone cities, associations were approximately null. We did not observe evidence of effect modification by green space clustering. Our results suggest that greenness may offer modest protection against heat-related mortality in arid climate zone Latin American cities