This study aimed to assess if air pollutants and meteorological factors synergistically affect birth outcomes in Shenzhen, China.
A total of 1,206,158 singleton live births between 2005 and 2012 were identified from a birth registry database. Daily average measurements of particulate matter ≤10 µm (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ambient air temperature (T), and dew point temperature (Td), a marker of humidity, were collected. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between air pollution and small for gestational age (SGA), and full-term low birth weight (TLBW). We classified births into those conceived in the warm (May–October) and cold seasons (November–April) and then estimated interactions between air pollutants and meteorological factors.
An interquartile range (IQR) increase in PM10 exposure during the first trimester (23.1 µg/m3) and NO2 during both the first and second trimesters (15.1 and 13.4 µg/m3) was associated with SGA and TLBW risk; odds ratios ranged from 1.01 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00, 1.02) to 1.09 (1.07, 1.12). We observed interactive effects of both air temperature and humidity on PM10 and SGA for newborns conceived in the warm season. Each IQR increase in PM10 (11.1 µg/m3) increased SGA risk by 90% (95% CI = 19%, 205%), 29% (23, 34%), 61% (10, 38%), and 26% (21, 32%) when T < 5th percentile, 5th < T < 95th percentile, Td < 5th percentile, and 5th < Td < 95th percentile, respectively. Conclusions: Our study found evidence of an interactive effect of air temperature and humidity on the relationship between PM10 exposure and SGA among newborns conceived in the warm season (May–October). Relatively low air temperature or humidity exacerbated the effects of PM10.