Child Health

Childhood and Environment

Photo: woodleywonderworks

Children’s health is considered a priority at the international level—and also at ISGlobal. Our Childhood and Environment programme focuses on evaluating the effects of environmental pollutants on children’s health , with particular emphasis on exposure during pregnancy and the postnatal period. The figure below describes the main areas of research interest in this field:



  1. Exposures
    —Urban environment (e.g. air pollution, noise, green spaces, pedestrian areas, temperature, light)
    —Indoor pollution (e.g. air pollution, mould)
    —Water pollution (e.g. chlorination by-products, microplastics)
    —Toxic chemical compounds (e.g. persistent organic pollutants, bisphenol A, phthalates, pesticides, heavy metals)
    —Electromagnetic fields
    —Lifestyle (e.g. nutrition, physical activity, sleep)
    —Social determinants (e.g. restrictions, socio-economic status, education)
  2. Biological responses
    —Metabolomics and proteins
    —Immune system
  3. Health impacts
    —Neurodevelopment and mental health
    —Obesity and cardiometabolic health
    —Respiratory health and allergies
    —Foetal growth and birth outcomes

ISGlobal-Led Birth Cohorts

Within the Childhood and Environment programme, there is a strong focus on longitudinal birth cohort research. We are currently leading a Spanish network of birth cohorts called the INMA Environment and Childhood Project as well as the BiSC birth cohort (in Barcelona and the surrounding metropolitan area).


ISGlobal-Led Birth Cohort Networks

ISGlobal has also been instrumental in building a birth cohort network in Europe through three European projects: ENRIECO, from 2009 to 2011; CHICOS, from 2010 to 2013; and LIFECYCLE, from 2017 to 2021. These efforts have resulted in a framework for data sharing and harmonisation across than 30 European birth cohorts.

Our Team


  • Martine Vrijheid
    Martine Vrijheid Research Professor and Head of the Environment and Health over the Lifecourse Programme

Our Team


Highlighted Projects


Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation


Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health

Other projects

See Past Projects


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


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


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


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


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


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


Population based multicasecontrol study on common tumours in Spain


Early Genetics Growth/Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology


Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics


In-Depth Genomics and Cross-Omics Analysis for Undiagnosed Rare Diseases on a User-Friendly Collaborative Platform


An Exposome Approach to Urban Health: Individualized Environmental Exposure Assessment in an Adults Population Cohort Study (GCAT)


Combining Artificial Intelligence and smart sensing TOward better management and improved quality of LIFE in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Innovative Tools to Control Organic Matter and Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water


Exposome Project for Health and Occupational Research


Analysing and studying how night shift work affects workers' circadian rhythms and health


International Human Exposome Network