What are the benefits associated with a greater presence of green spaces, especially in the city? And, above all, how does the presence of these positively influence children's health? Why is cigarette smoking harmful during pregnancy, after birth and while breastfeeding?

To answer these and other questions, the site First 1000 days was born, a new information web space for parents, citizens, decision makers, pediatricians and researchers to understand the effects of environmental exposure in the first thousand days of life and to underline the importance of growing up in healthy living contexts.

"The period from conception to the end of the second year of life is particularly critical in the case of exposure to environmental pollutants," comments Luca Ronfani of IRCCS maternal and child Burlo Garofolo and scientific referent of the project.

"In this project we focused on cigarette smoke and air pollution, where air pollution means the release into the air of pollutants related to transport, vehicle traffic, domestic heating and obviously also industrial emissions that they aggravate the situation. So let's talk about pollutants such as atmospheric particulate matter, the famous PM10 and PM2.5 that we have all heard of, but also other substances such as nitrogen dioxide or ozone."

To characterize the relationship between exposure to these environmental pollutants during the first days of life and the effects on the health of women and children: "On the one hand, we analyzed the results of the cohort study of Piccolipiù births (see Thematic section), which has enlisted more than 3 thousand women in 5 Italian cities (including Turin, Ed.) ”, explains Ronfani; "The information collected allowed us to accurately measure exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollutants, but also to identify possible protective factors".

On the other hand, reviews of the scientific literature were carried out (see Scientific documents section), to understand the association between early exposure to environmental pollutants and health.

"Reviews have confirmed that early exposure to these substances in the first 1000 days of life, but particularly during pregnancy, leads to important outcomes for the baby's health, for example by increasing the risk of certain neonatal outcomes, such as childbirth premature and low birth weight, but also respiratory problems such as bronchial asthma. In addition, an association was also found with the child's neurodevelopment. The scientific literature suggests, for example, that exposure to environmental pollutants may be associated with autism. "

The site was therefore created to return the results of the research project to the different targets, inform about the impact on children's health of exposure to environmental risk factors and propose tools to promote changes capable of generating health for parents and all health workers to ordinary citizens) who care for children in their first 1000 days of life.

First 1000 days, developed with the support of Think2.it and Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore, was developed during a research project funded by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CCM) of the Ministry of Health and coordinated by the SC Clinical Epidemiology and Research on Health Services of the maternal and child IRCCS Burlo Garofolo of Trieste in collaboration with:

  • Università degli Studi di Torino - CPO Piemonte
  • Azienda ospedaliero universitaria Meyer, Ospedale pediatrico, Firenze
  • Dipartimento di Epidemiologia Servizio Sanitario Regionale, ASL Roma 1, Regione Lazio
  • Centro di Riferimento per la Scienze Comportamentali e la Salute Mentale, Istituto Superiore di Sanità
  • UO Neonatologia e Pediatria, Ospedale Versilia, Azienda USL Toscana Nord Ovest
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto per la Ricerca e l'Innovazione Biomedica - Palermo.