The Pregnancy Exposome

Curr Environ Health Rep. 2015 Jun;2(2):204-13. doi: 10.1007/s40572-015-0043-2.


The exposome concept takes a holistic approach facilitated by new and emerging technologies to describe 'the totality of human environmental (i.e. non-genetic) exposures from conception onwards, complementing the genome'. It provides a framework to advance the environmental epidemiology field that has until now focused almost exclusively on single-exposure health effects. The exposome includes an external domain, measured by methods including geo-spatial modelling, questionnaire and biomonitoring of external exposures while the internal domain is commonly assessed through molecular omics platforms. The internal domain, in part, reflects the biological response to the external domain. New statistical frameworks are required to integrate and assess exposome-health effects. The pregnancy period is a key starting point to describe the dynamic exposome, due to its heightened sensitivity and potential lifetime impact. A handful of studies have started to move towards an exposome approach in assessing the effects of the multiple exposures during pregnancy on child development. New research projects are underway to test the exposome approach on a large scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy