Southeast Wisconsin Interdisciplinary Study of Children’s Health, Ecological Exposures and Social Environment

EPA Grant Number: 839278
Title: Southeast Wisconsin Interdisciplinary Study of Children’s Health, Ecological Exposures and Social Environment
Investigators: Magzamen, Sheryl , Dilworth-Bart, Janean E , Wilson, Ander , Carter, Ellison , Jathar, Shantanu
Current Investigators: Magzamen, Sheryl , Carter, Ellison , Jathar, Shantanu , Wilson, Ander , Dilworth-Bart, Janean E
Institution: Colorado State University , University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020
Project Amount: $600,000
RFA: Using a Total Environment Framework (Built, Natural, Social Environments) to Assess Life-long Health Effects of Chemical Exposures (2017) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Human Health


One of the major challenges to the development of appropriate interventions to promote children’s well-being is the coincident nature of chemical, physical, and social stressors in communities throughout the United States. Our proposed research question focuses on understanding the relative and joint contributions of social and physical (built and natural) factors and chemical pollutant exposures on children’s health and development. We propose to develop a retrospective birth cohort (n=17,419) in two counties in Southeast Wisconsin that leverages three unique administrative data sets: State of Wisconsin’s lead tracking database; Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) enrollment data; and Medicaid claims data. Our goal is to develop exposure models that reflect the chemical, social and physical environments that influence health outcomes from the prenatal period to age four and estimate the causal effect of these total environment exposures on child health. Our study objectives are: (1) Develop community-level and individuallevel profiles for social, physical (built and natural), and chemical environments and determine the relative effect of these exposure profiles on respiratory, neurodevelopmental, and injury-related outcomes; (2) Evaluate the role of community level social and physical environmental profiles on modification of the effect of chemical exposures on respiratory and neurodevelopmental-related outcomes; and (3) Evaluate the role of residential mobility on respiratory, neurodevelopmental, and physical health. We hypothesize that children with multiple adverse exposures arising from their social, physical, natural, and chemical environments will have worse health outcomes than those with single adverse exposures; concentration-response functions describing the relation between chemical environmental profiles and respiratory health and neurodevelopmental outcomes will shift in slope based on the social and physical environmental profiles of study subjects; and potential health benefits of moving to an area with a more favorable physical environmental profile and lower chemical pollutant exposures are offset by disruptions in the social environment of the household. This proposal represents research to practice (r2p) model that integrates assessment of chemical, physical, and social environmental exposures to advance understanding of children’s health outcomes. Our multidimensional approach to the environment will help to inform disease etiology and evidence-based population health policy. As every state has Medicaid and WIC programs that serve pregnant women and preschool children, it is our goal that these data can support environmental health policy development around the country.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ambient air, lead, socioeconomic, sensitive populations, epidemiology, engineering, social sciences, statistics, Great Lakes (EPA Region 5.)

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2018 Progress Report
  • 2019 Progress Report