Lan Jin has been awarded a YIBS Fellowship for study of traffic pollution and congenital heart defects in Lanzhou, China

December 1, 2014

Lan Jin has been awarded a YIBS Fellowship for study of traffic-related air pollution and congenital heart defects in Lanzhou, China.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are a leading cause of infant mortality and have the highest prevalence in Asia. Some studies in the Western world have linked maternal exposure to air pollution to CHD, yet little is known about this relationship in China, where the levels of pollution and incidence of CHD are both high and of great concern.

In an initial study in Lanzhou, China, she used ambient monitoring data (which measures overall air pollution) to identify a positive association between risk of CHD and gestational exposure to PM10 (particles with aerodynamic diameter no larger than 10µm) and  NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide). Lanzhou is a particularly relevant area for study, as it is a major industrial city and transportation hub with poor air quality in Northern China. Heavy traffic is a major source of ambient pollutants due to rapid economic and urban development. She conducted a preliminary measurement campaign in Lanzhou in July 2014, and found that NO2 and BC (Black Carbon) (two important indicators of traffic pollution) decay linearly at first, and reach a plateau at  100m from the major road. These were pilot measurements, and were only conducted at one major road.

The objective of this proposed study is to quantify the risks of  CHD specifically associated with  traffic pollution. She will build upon her preliminary data to estimate exposure to traffic-related air pollution in  Lanzhou, China, accounting for traffic volume and wind direction, with measurements on 6 additional roads.