We investigate uncertainty in estimates of pregnant women's exposure to ambient PM2.5 and benzene derived from central-site monitoring data. Through a study of live births in Florida during 2000-2009, we discuss the selection of spatial and temporal scales of analysis, limiting distances, and aggregation method. We estimate exposure concentrations and classify exposure for a range of alternatives, and compare impacts. Estimated exposure concentrations were most sensitive to the temporal scale of analysis for PM2.5, with similar sensitivity to spatial scale for benzene. Using 1-12 versus 3-8 weeks of gestational age as the exposure window resulted in reclassification of exposure by at least one quartile for up to 37% of mothers for PM2.5 and 27% for benzene. The largest mean absolute differences in concentration resulting from any decision were 0.78 µg/m(3) and 0.44 ppbC, respectively. No bias toward systematically higher or lower estimates was found between choices for any decision.
Keywords: Air pollution; Benzene; Birth defects; Particles.
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