Context

The structuring and consolidation of often fragmented data from various studies undertaken
throughout Europe will improve the knowledge base for environment and health linkages.
Data regarding environment-health causal relationships will be more readily available in a form
useful for policy makers.

Overall the focus is on exposure response functions/relationships in environment and health in
pregnancy and early childhood. The focus is to a large extent on extracting environmental
exposure response relationships from existing data with some new work on specific
environmental exposure response relationships, and preparatory work on how to obtain them
such as standardizing exposure and health outcomes.

Epidemiological studies have shown associations between environmental pollutants and
adverse child health outcomes, which may result in substantial economic and societal costs.
There are many pregnancy and birth cohorts in Europe with information on environment and
health. However, the wealth of available information has only been partially exploited, and
there is a lack of statistical power in single studies which study rare health outcomes or
exposures with a low prevalence. Therefore, an urgent need exists to evaluate, and where
possible combine, the existing environmental exposure and health data, methods and tools
from European birth cohort studies in order to evaluate any causal links between exposing
agents and health and to provide recommendations for effective policy decisions to improve
children's environmental health and reduce economic and societal costs.

The overall aim of ENRIECO was to advance knowledge on specific environment and health
causal relationships in pregnancy and birth cohorts by providing support to exploitation of the
wealth of data generated by past or ongoing studies funded by the EC and national
programmes.

Specific objectives were to:

  • Make inventories of birth cohorts;
  • Assure quality and interoperability of exposure, health & exposure-response data;
  • Obtain data access;
  • Build databases;
  • Conduct analysis;
  • Make recommendations for data collection in the future to improve environment-
    health linkages and information, and disseminate the information.

The project intended to bring together over 30 pregnancy and birth cohorts and information
on around 250,000 newborns, infants and children from across Europe. The anticipated
outcome was the structuring and consolidation of often fragmented data from various studies
undertaken throughout Europe, which will improve the knowledge base for FP 7 Cooperation
Work Programme 2008: Environment (including climate change) environment and health
linkages. Furthermore, data regarding environment-health causal relationships were set to be
more readily available in a form useful for policy makers.