Pre-natal exposure to urban AIR pollution and pre- and post-Natal Brain development

Projecte AIR-NB
01/09/2018 - 31/08/2023
Jordi Sunyer
European Research Council (ERC) / Horizon2020

The general objective of AIR-NB is to assess the effect of prenatal exposure to urban air pollution on prenatal and postnatal brain development.

Air pollution is the main environmental hazard related to the city and the main environmental contributor to the global burden of diseases. Studying the structural and functional brain effects of exposure to air pollution during neurological and fetal development during the first years of life is important because the effects at this time are potentially irreversible and the greatest opportunities for prevention occur during these periods.

Why urban air pollution and pre- and post-natal brain development?

Strong evidence suggests that environmental toxics contribute to a global and silent pandemic of brain development problems. Optimal brain development involves multiple complex stages that must be completed sequentially, mainly during fetal and early life. These processes are exceptionally vulnerable to interference from adverse environments.

Poor brain development leads to: neurobehavioral disorders (ie, autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)), whose prevalence appears to be increasing, dysfunctional cognitive development and long-term harmful effects on well-being and health mental., or having been raised in urban areas is associated with a detrimental impact on brain function and an increased risk of neurobehavioral disorders.

On the whole, it is expected that rapid urbanization and a higher prevalence of neurobehavioral disorders in urban areas will accelerate the already considerable global burden associated with these conditions in the coming years.

Total Funding

2,499,992 €

This project has received funds from the European Research Council (ERC) within the framework of the research and innovation program of the European Union, Horizon 2020, within the framework of the ERC-2017-ADG call.

Our Team


ISGlobal Team

Altres projectes

Veure projectes passats


Early Genetics Growth/Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology


Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics


Air Pollution, Autism spectrum disorders, and brain imaging in CHildren amongst Europe


Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health


Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation


Pre- and post-natal Maternal mental health and newbOrn neurOdevelopment during the COVID-19 panDemic


A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health


An integrative strategy of testing systems for identification of EDs related to metabolic disorders

The Lungfit Project

Socioeconomic Status, Physical Activity, and Respiratory Health in Pregnant Women, Children, and Adolescents


Prenatal Exposure to Environmental Pollutants and Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health of the Teenagers


Actionable eUropean ROadmap for early-life health Risk Assessment of micro- and nanoplastics


Developmental origins of child liver injury: the effect of early life environmental exposures


Entorno Urbano y Salud Cardiometabólica desde el Nacimiento hasta la Adolescencia


Early-life Nutritional Programming of Metabolic Health through Epigenetic Pathways


Fine Particle Matter, Fetal Growth, and Neurodevelopment: Examining Critical Windows of Susceptibility


Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Birth Weight: the Roles of Noise, Placental Function, Green Space, Physical Activity, and Socioeconomic Status

The APBO Project

Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes: Windows of Exposure and Health and Economic Impact Assessment


Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, Noise, and Sleep Disorders in Adolescence


Prenatal Exposure to a Family of Short Half-Life Endocrine Disruptors, Dysregulation of the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis and Potential Implication for Child Neurodevelopment at Early Age


Caractérisation des usages et de l’exposition aux radiofréquences induite par les dispositifs de communication mobiles chez les enfants


Light at Night Exposure and Sleep Quality


Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, Other Environmental Factors, and Development of the Embryo and Fetus


The role of seafood and nut consumption on human neurodevelopment from pregnancy to adolescence


Urban and social environment and childhood obesity – a natural moving2health experiment