Children's environmental health based on birth cohort studies of Asia

Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 31:609:396-409. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.081. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Numerous studies have explored the associations between environmental pollutants and pediatric health. Recent studies have investigated the issue in Asia, but no systematic review has been published to date. This study aims to elucidate the issue by summarizing relevant epidemiologic evidence for cohorts in Asia, using information from the Birth Cohort Consortium of Asia (BiCCA). Environmental pollutants include mercury, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates. This study sought to classify the effects of such compounds on fetal growth and pregnancy outcomes, neurodevelopment and behavioral problems, allergic disease and immune function and the endocrine system and puberty. These evidences showed ETS has been associated with infant birth weight, children's neurodevelopment and allergy disease; mercury and PCB have been shown to affect children's neurodevelopment; phthalate has effects on endocrine function; PFAS alters children's neurodevelopment, the endocrine system, and the allergic response. However, more consistent and coordinated research is necessary to understand the whole picture of single environmental and/or co-exposure and children's health. Therefore, harmonization and international collaboration are also needed in Asia.

Keywords: Asia; Birth cohort; Environmental tobacco smoke; Mercury; Perfluoroalkyl substances; Phthalates; Polychlorinated biphenyls.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Child
  • Child Health*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Health*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Mercury / adverse effects
  • Phthalic Acids / adverse effects
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • phthalic acid
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Mercury