New Wristbands could Help Detect Air Quality

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Texas showed a heightened prevalence of childhood asthma and a higher prematurity rate (14.8%) than the rest of the state (12.9%). Thus, the team sought to investigate the intensity of exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) among pregnant women using silicone wristbands.

‘Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) cause many adverse birth outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm birth. Wristbands could serve as good sampling devices for quantifying PAHs in the air.’

According to the CDC, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. They are also produced when coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, and tobacco are burned. These chemicals are capable of forming small particles in the air.

In the current study, the team sought to quantify maternal PAH exposure in pregnant women residing in McAllen, Texas. For this, they used a new approach based on which participants carried backpacks containing air-sampling equipment and silicone wristbands for a day during their outdoor activities.

Both the air-sampling equipment and the silicone wristbands were tested for the PAHs on the next day. “We found that patterns of detection are similar for low molecular-weight compounds and that attaching the wristbands to the backpack’s strap is a good sampling design for evaluating conditions under which wristbands could be used for quantifying PAHs in air,” said co-author Itza Mendoza-Sanchez, highlighting the potential use of wrist bands as passive air samplers.

As the wristbands are easy to wear and inexpensive, the authors opine that the demonstration they have provided in the study could be helpful in future studies that evaluate adverse health outcomes from prenatal PAH exposure.

The results of the complete study were published in Nature’s Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology .

Source: Medindia

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