Habre looking at a device
Habre leads a project at the MADRES Center to understand how environmental exposures and social stressors can impact postpartum allostatic load – the body’s wear and tear of repeatedly being exposed to stress.

Rima Habre, Sc.D., of the Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) was interviewed for the PBS documentary “Something in the Air,” which is about air pollution and its effects on children’s health.

"Air pollution is very tightly related to kid’s health,” Habre shared. “Kids who live in communities with more air pollution suffer more lung damage, and once they move to cleaner communities, they regain lung function.”

She also spoke about a study to track children’s exposure to ultra-fine particles, particulate matter of nanoscale size, from conception to 5 years old.

“Ultrafine particles are so tiny that they can quickly cross from the alveoli into the blood circulation through the lungs,” Habre said. “They are very good at transporting things we consider as bad actors, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals, very deeply into the lung.”