Illuminating the Exposome

Air Pollution in China, Global Panorama, 2014, Modified

The leading environmental health hazard is air pollution. While this and other toxins in food and the environment have proven especially threatening in the first 1,000 days of life, little is known about the cumulative, life-course effects on physical and mental health. To illuminate the “exposome” – the totality of cultural, nutritional, and environmental exposures – we investigate intersections between biomarkers and geo-markers, daily routines and family histories, prenatal care and life-long habits.

What is special about early life?

Children are very vulnerable during their first 1,000 days of life.  In the womb, embryonic or fetal tissue is highly sensitive and organs are developing. After birth, a young child goes through rapid growth and development with changes in organ system functioning, metabolic capacities, physical size, and immature defense systems. It is during this time period that they are particularly vulnerable to environmental exposure.

What is the exposome?

The exposome is the sum exposure, the totality of environmental exposures from conception onwards. The exposome includes exposure to air pollution, water pollution, metal pollution, the social environment, life style factors, and others. The totality of these exposures at a young age can affect fetus growth, birth outcomes, child development and child health. 

For example, 3 billion people use solid fuels everyday, exposing women and young children to high levels of indoor air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates that people most likely to breathe poor-quality air live in low- and middle-income countries, where they may also experience hunger, malnutrition, infectious disease, conflict, and natural disasters. In many of these areas, the problem of air pollution is intractable, even as consequences for young children and other vulnerable groups are acknowledged.  

Poor air quality has detrimental effects on fetal and postnatal growth and development. Despite decades of efforts to improve air quality, pregnant women and young children around the world still breathe polluted air, initiating lifelong health problems and causing early death. For many, inadequate air quality is inescapable, with exposure occurring consistently during everyday indoor and outdoor tasks.

News and Announcements

Presentations

E-waste repair and recyling in Bangladesh, Dr. Nirupam Aich

Risk factors for environmental enteropathy among children in Bangladesh, Dr. Christine George

Our Working Solutions

Air Pollution, Damián Bakarcic, paris, 2013, modified

8/15/17
The first 1000 days of life, from conception to 2 years of age, are the most critical in a child’s development. While a baby is forming, growing, and learning, its lifelong developmental trajectory is being shaped by the surrounding environment.  The problem of poor air quality during a child’s first 1000 days is complex and multi-faceted, requiring innovative and multi-disciplinary thinking to measure it, understand its consequences, and generate solutions. To address these challenges, UB’s Community for Global Health Equity (CGHE) hosted a 3-day IDEAS Lab.

Our Team

Faculty Fellows

John Atkinson

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

233 Jarvis Hall

Phone: 716-645-4001

Email: atkjdw@buffalo.edu

Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen

Professor

Department of Geography

114 Wilkeson Quad

Phone: 716-645-2722

Email: geosbs@buffalo.edu

Robert E. Baier

Professor

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall / 110 Parker Hall

Phone: 716-829-3560

Email: baier@buffalo.edu Faculty Profile

Vanessa Bernabei

Professor and Chair

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

219 Bryant Street

Phone: 716-878-7138; Fax: 716-888-3833

Email: vmbarnab@buffalo.edu

Ling Bian

Professor

Department of Geography

120 Wilkeson Quad

Phone: 716-645-0484

Email: lbian@buffalo.edu

Matthew Bonner

Associate Professor

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

277 Farber Hall Buffalo

Phone: 716-829-5385; Fax: 716-829-2979

Email: mrbonner@buffalo.edu

Richard Browne

Associate Professor

Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences

38 Cary Hall

Phone: 716-829-5181

Email: rwbrowne@buffalo.edu

Jo Freudenheim

UB Distinguished Professor

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine

270 Farber Hall

Phone: 716-829-5375

Email: jfreuden@buffalo.edu

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah

Assistant Professor

Urban and Regional Planning

Sharon Hewner

Assistant Professor

Nursing

214 Wende Hall

Phone: 716-829-2092

Email: hewner@buffalo.edu

Bumjoon Kang

Assistant Professor

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Hayes A 22A

Email: bumjoonk@buffalo.edu

Katarzyna, Kordas

Associate Professor

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

234 Farber Hall

Phone: (716) 829-5340; Fax: (716) 829-2979

Email: kkordas@buffalo.edu

Vasanth Kumar

Clinical Associate Professor

Pediatrics

219 Bryant Street

Phone: 716-878-7673

Email: vkumar3@buffalo.edu

Elena McLean

Assistant Professor

Political Science

507 Park Hall

Phone: 716-645-8444

Email: elenamcl@buffalo.edu

Gene Morse

SUNY Distinguished Professor

Department of Pharmacy Practice

701 Ellicott Street

Phone: 716-881-7464

Email: emorse@buffalo.edu

Jayasree Nair

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Department of Pediatrics

219 Bryant Street Buffalo, NY 14222

Phone: 716-878-7673; Fax: 716-878-7945

Email: jnair2@buffalo.edu

Deborah Raines

Associate Professor

Nursing

209 Wende Hall

Phone: 716-829-5790

Email: draines@buffalo.edu

Pavani Ram

Associate Professor; Director, Office of Global Health Initiatives

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

237 Farber Hall

Phone: 716-829-5380

Email: pkram@buffalo.edu

Julia Ravenscroft

Postdoctoral Associate

Epidemiology and Environmental Health

234A Farber Hall

Phone: 716-829-5341

Email: juliarav@buffalo.edu

Alexandra Schindel

Assistant Professor

Learning and Instruction

564 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-3174

Email: aedimick@buffalo.edu

Sanjay Sethi

Professor and Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Medicine

3495 Bailey Avenue

Phone: 716-862-7875

Email: ssethi@buffalo.edu

Laura Smith

Assistant Professor

Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Kory Smith

Professor

Department of Architecture

Phone: 716-575-2874

Email: khsmith@buffalo.edu

Hua (Helen) Wang

Associate Professor

Communication

309 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1501

Email: hwang23@buffalo.edu

Wenyao Xu

Assistant Professor

Computer Science and Engineering

330 Davis Hall

Phone: 716-645-4748

Email: wenyaoxu@buffalo.edu

Janet Yang

Associate Professor

Communication

329 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1169

Email: zyang5@buffalo.edu

Enki Yoo

Associate Professor

Department of Geography

121 Wilkeson Quad

Phone: 716-645-0476

Email: eunhye@buffalo.edu

Guan Yu

Assistant Professor

Biostatistics

710 Kimball Tower

Phone: 716-829-2934

Email: guanyu@buffalo.edu

Lili Tian

Professor and Associate Chair; Director of Graduate Studies

Biostatistics

717 Kimball Tower

Phone: 716-829-2715

Email: ltian@buffalo.edu

Student Associates

Gauri Desai

PhD Candidate

Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Zuwena Plata

UB Alumna

Epidemiology and Environmental Health