Pregnant women were enrolled in the HOME Study during a doctor’s appointment when they were about 16 weeks pregnant. During pregnancy and through the first three years of life, we collected samples of blood, saliva, breastmilk, hair, and meconium to measure exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, lead, and mercury. Study participants completed home visits and clinic visits when their child was aged 1, 2, and 3 years. These visits consisted of questionnaires and assessments for both caregivers and children.
We also examined ways to make homes safer for children. Participants were randomized (like a flip of a coin) into either a lead reduction group or an injury reduction group. We completed home visits to treat the home to reduce lead exposure or to install injury hazard equipment. Click here to read more about what we found on our publications page.
Phase 2 included clinic visits for children ages 4 and 5 years old. We completed many of the same samples, questionnaires and assessments as in phase 1. In Phase 2, we also asked questions about new chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), which is a chemical commonly found in some plastics and canned foods, and phthalates, which are found in some plastics and personal care products.
Phase 3 included clinic visits for children aged 7.5 to 10 years old. In this phase, we focused on the impact of environmental chemicals on child cognition, learning, memory, motor skills, attention, executive function, and behavior. We also examined how environmental chemicals impacted maternal, infant, and child thyroid function.
Phase 4 started in June 2016 and concluded in April 2019, with an impressive number of 256 completed visits. This phase included a clinic visit for children ages 11 to 13 years. We focused on how environmental chemicals impact children’s growth, adiposity (how fat is distributed in the body), endocrine function (hormones), brain anatomy and function, behavior, and mood.
Cincinnati Combined Childhood Cohorts (C4)
In November 2021, the HOME Study joined forces with the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study to examine the role of air pollution in the emergence and persistence of mental health disorders during adolescence and young adulthood. This phase of the study includes surveys completed online and during a clinic visit to assess mental health and collection of biological samples. Eligible participants will also be invited to participate in an MRI study allowing us to see changes in brain structure and function that may accompany mental health outcomes in relation to air pollution exposure. Both studies completed similar work at age 12, allowing us to examine changes over time in both mental health and brain outcomes. Combining the two cohorts will increase the size of our study to 500 participants.
Beginning in spring 2022, the HOME Study will begin a new study visit to examine the role of endocrine disrupting chemicals on bone health and density measures. This visit will include surveys in the clinic setting and online, as well as collection of biological samples. Eligible participants will also be invited to participate in a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan and a peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), in order for us to measure bone mineral density (BMD) and rate of BMD accrual from 12 to 17 years.