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E-IPER Dissertation Defense : Allison Sherris "Environmental contaminants and health in early life"

Thursday, Jul 22, 2021 2:00 PM
Zoom Webinar
Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources

Zoom Webinar

"Environmental contaminants and health in early life: Studies on air pollution and drinking water quality"

How does environmental pollution affect human health? My research tackles this question in two contexts: air pollution in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and drinking water contamination in California. In Chapter 1, I find that ambient particulate matter in Dhaka is associated with child pneumonia. I also introduce a new approach to explore the sources of particulate matter that drive child health outcomes. In Chapters 2 and 3, I investigate whether exposure to drinking water contaminants during pregnancy increases risk of preterm birth in California. Using a sibling-matched design, I find that high levels of nitrate in drinking water more than double the risk of early preterm birth. Applying a survival analysis framework, I identify modest associations between low concentrations of arsenic in drinking water and preterm birth. Finally, Chapter 4 combines machine learning and community-based surveys to characterize exposure to nitrate and 1,2,3-trichloropropane, an emerging contaminant, among domestic well users in California’s Central Valley. In each chapter, I aim to improve understanding of environmental health risks and provide methodological contributions to overcome existing research barriers. This work provides tools for communities, researchers, and policymakers to address contaminants of concern in ambient air and drinking water to protect human health. 

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