Pollution, Early-Life Health, and Child Development in Developing Countries

2015-17 Seed Grant

This proposal seeks to launch a research agenda that examines environmental influences on early-life health and child development in developing countries. Funding from a HGC small seed grant will enable the completion of the agendas first study, on the health consequences of air pollution from the harvesting of sugarcane, an important global energy source. Three new studies will examine the effects of agricultural air pollution, urban water pollution, and slum conditions on child health and development. Much of the proposed research focuses on Brazil, so a key component of the proposal is its funding of undergraduate summer field research abroad. On campus, undergraduate and graduate students will have opportunities to collaborate on the proposed research, and findings will be incorporated into a range of interdisciplinary teaching activities. Beyond this educational use, the findings of the proposed research will have important implications for policymakers in developing countries seeking to balance population health with energy sustainability, agricultural livelihood, and rapid urbanization.