September 10, 2019

Air Pollution Harms Reproductive Health. Number 4 in a series of a report on a scientific meeting held June 1, 2019

This blog summaries the last of the presentations given during the scientific meeting and focuses on three presentations that discussed important scientific methodology that is advantageous for environmental health research studies.

Kelly Kerry, PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Utah and Associate Director for Air Quality, Health and Society.  She presented information about a program utilizing a network of about 100 low-cot air quality sensors that provide visualization of neighborhood PM 2.5 concentrations in the Salt Lake Valley.  Analysis of the data generated from the sensors show dramatic geospatial differences in PM 2.5 captured during severe PM 2.5 air pollution events.  These geospatial differences could not be detected by regulatory monitors alone.   She also presented information regarding outreach efforts to local schools to organize students as citizen scientists. The students built their own light-scattering PM sensors, learned how to be good sensor hosts and hot to make sense of real-world data.

Christina Porucznik, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Utah and Associate Chief of the Division of Public Health presented results of a study demonstrating the increased urinary isoprostene, a biomarker for oxidative stress occurs during periods of poor air quality resulting from PM 2.5. These findings were based on data collected from 124 participants who were part of an ongoing cohort of heterosexual couples trying to conceive.  The first daily urine specimen was collected and analyzed on two days, “a green air day” and a “red air day”.  Exposure to air quality was measured at the nearest monitoring station and was categorized as “green” or “red” based on the previous 24 hours. Since the increase in isoprostene was statistically significant between those two days, urinary isoprostene maybe a useful biomarker for oxidative stress related to air quality.

Ramikaran Gouripeddi, MBBS, MS, Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics, University of Utah, presented the Utah PRISMS (Pediatric Research Using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems) UPIE (Utah Peds Informatics Ecosystem).  The UPIE is a comprehensive, standard-based, open-source information platform designed to provide metadata-driven, event-based management of exposure data.  Information generated and integrated by UPIE is included in clinical trials, study participant reported, sensor-based, biospecimen derived and computationally modeled events.  This infrastructure can be used to perform air quality exposure and translational reproductive health research studies.

Further Reading:

Sward K, Patwari N, Gouripeddi R et al. An infrastructure for generating exposomes: initial lessons from the Utah PRISMS platform. International Society of Exposure Science Annual Meeting, Research, 2017.

Gouripeddi R, Burnett N, Cummings M et al.  A conceptual representation of exposome in translation research. AMIA 2017 Annual Symposium.