Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Environmental Toxicology

First Advisor

Maruthi Bhaskar


Environmental exposures during pregnancy have been suggested to have a tremendous impact on pregnancy and outcomes. One of the most common triggers to poor pregnancy is asthma. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and pregnant women, affecting approximately 9% of children and complicates 8% of pregnancy in women within the United States. Studies have demonstrated that minority populations, especially Blacks and Latinos suffer a disproportionate burden of asthma prevalence as well as morbidity. African American women experience the highest levels of asthma-linked mortality and asthma-related health care utilization. This epidemiologic study investigated environmental stressors that may contribute to the development of asthma in pregnant women. The objectives ofthis study are: 1) to analyze the occurrence ofAsthma in the selected subdivisions of Houston and 2) to determine the effects of different stress factors such as ozone, cigarette smoking and Second Hand Smoke (SHS) on the asthma prevalence among the women in the study area. The study is an epidemiology study and the study area was within Harris County's subdivisions of Fifth Ward, Third Ward and Sunnyside. The study found that there was a strong correlation 2 between SHS and asthma, a correlation between smoking and asthma and a virtual correlation between ozone and asthma. This research contributes to existing knowledge of asthma diagnosis among pregnant women more research need to be done in the most exposed zones