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The health effects of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) continue to be of important public health interest. Following its well-cited 2010 critical review on the health effects of traffic-related air pollution, the Health Effects Institute (HEI) appointed a new expert Panel to embark on a new review.
In this webinar, we presented the findings of the new review, which is the largest systematic effort to date to evaluate the epidemiological evidence regarding the associations between long-term exposure to TRAP and selected adverse health outcomes. The Panel used a systematic approach to search the literature, select studies for inclusion in the review, assess study quality, summarize results, and reach conclusions about the confidence in the evidence. An extensive search was conducted of literature published between 1980 and 2019 on selected health outcomes. A new exposure framework was developed to determine whether a study was sufficiently specific to TRAP.
In total, 353 studies were included in the systematic review, and an additional 69 were included in literature reviews for neurologic outcomes. Respiratory effects in children (118 studies) and birth outcomes (86 studies) were the most commonly studied outcomes. Fewer studies investigated cardiometabolic effects (57 studies), respiratory effects in adults (50 studies), and mortality (48 studies).
The webinar presented the main findings of the systematic review, and discussed the evidence base of TRAP and selected health outcomes. Strengths and limitations of the existing studies were considered, results were put into a broader context, and recommendations for future policy-relevant science were made.
Chairs: Ellen Mantus, HEI and Evi Samoli, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens