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As noted in previous Report Cards (2001, 2003, and 2004), stringent regulations on industrial and vehicle emissions have allowed the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) to make tremendous improvements in air quality over the past 30 years. This article focuses on health effects that ambient and traffic related air pollution has on pregnant women, their infants, and young children. The time between conception and birth is perhaps one of the most vulnerable life stages, during which the environment may have tremendous immediate and lasting effects on health. Early childhood is also a critical period for the continued development and maturation of several biological systems such as the brain, lung, and immune system and air toxics can impair lung function and neurodevelopment, or exacerbate existing conditions, such as asthma (Figure 2). Exactly what compounds in the ambient air most affect reproductive and children's health, and how these exposures result in restricted fetal growth, early parturition, and development of respiratory diseases remains largely unknown. A seminal paper published in 1977 by researchers in Los Angeles was the first to describe a possible association between air pollution at atmospheric levels and reduced birth weight. Mothers exposed to high levels of CO and particles during pregnancy are at higher risk of adverse birth outcomes, including preterm delivery, low birth weight, and congenital heart defects.
In Los Angeles, we found that air pollution caused by traffic disproportionately affected women in low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Michelle Wilhelm is an Assistant Professor In Residence in the Department of Epidemiology and member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, UCLA. I'd like to receive useful tips, tools and resources via email from Kelley Blue Book and affiliates.
The only way you can tell the difference between the 2015 Scion FR-S and last year's model is to go to a racetrack and push them to the limits. Now, that's just a seat-of-the-pants measurement, but there's no doubt that I felt far more confident behind the wheel of the 2015 Scion FR-S compared to the previous model. The 2014 Scion FR-S loved oversteer, but the new model feels much more stable in corners, allowing the driver to get into the power earlier. Scion brought its 2015 FR-S to the Streets of Willow complex at Willow Springs in Rosamond, Calif., along with equivalent 2014 models for comparison. While Scion brought out manual and automatic transmission models for us to sample, the two most comparable had automatics. Part of the appeal of the Scion FR-S is that the same car can be driven to a track, raced, then driven home again with nary a tire swap.
Around town though, the loud exhaust, stiff suspension, and the short shift kit made the car downright irritating to drive, unless you're maybe 25 years old. As a special treat, Scion also brought a highly modified 2014 Scion FR-S equipped with a 400-horsepower turbocharged engine, upgraded suspension, roll cage, fire suppression, and along with handing us the keys, Scion also brought Formula Drift champion Ken Gushi to drive it.


Obviously, the turbo FR-S was faster and more powerful, but what we really appreciated was the improvement at the lower end of the engines rev range. Now that we've had a chance to test the 2015 Subaru WRX and higher-performing WRX STI, helping you decide which model to choose seemed like the logical next step.
Looking at the performance specs above, a 12-percent differential in power might not seem like a compelling disparity.
Budgetary limitations aside, the key deciding factor in selecting the right model comes down to ride quality. Given these points, when monetary restrictions are removed from the equation, deciding between a WRX or STI can be summed up in two questions: Do you plan to use your Subaru as a daily driver? The study of air pollution's impact on reproductive outcomes is still a developing area of science with many important questions unanswered, but more evidence is emerging that air pollution exposures in pregnancy and early childhood put children at higher risk of adverse health outcomes. In fact, in one study, we linked residential traffic density to preterm and LBW which provides further evidence that traffic exhaust may be particularly important. Air pollution exposure during early pregnancy may interfere with placental development and subsequent oxygen and nutrient delivery to the fetus throughout pregnancy, while the last trimester is important for fetal weight gain.
Vehicle exhaust also contains very small or ultra fine particles (UFP), which have a high surface area.
CO is directly emitted by vehicle tailpipes and concentrations of this pollutant are elevated closer to heavy traffic roadways. Ambient air pollution and adverse birth outcomes: Methodologic issues in an emerging field. Understeer is when the front wheels slide first, oversteer is when the rear wheels lose grip first, and neutral is when they lose grip at about the same time. Don't worry: A good driver can still make the car's rear end slide out, but it's the driver making the decision, not the car, and that's a huge difference. On the track, the 2014 model felt "loose," with the rear end stepping sideways as I tried to apply power coming out of corners.
To drive that point home -- literally in our case, since we drove it away from the track -- Scion brought a 2015 FR-S augmented with a variety of performance parts from Toyota Racing Development, the brand's performance division. I could enter a corner harder thanks to the better brakes, and hold a higher speed through the apex and on exit.
The stiffer suspension we could probably live with, but the short shift kit was criticized by some for the combination of increased effort and vagueness; it was all too easy to accidentally put the car in third gear at a stoplight instead of first. Because when you get right down to it, each model appeals to a specific type of sports car buyer.


Starting at just over $35,000, including destination fees, the 2015 Subaru STI commands an $8,200 premium over a base WRX. Since the WRX and STI utilize completely different suspension components and geometry, handling performance and ride compliance is unique to each car.
However, studies of air pollution's effect on SIDS to date are equivocal[2], while results for particulate matter and respiratory infant mortality are fairly consistent and further supported by the strong and well established link between particles and adult mortality.
But CO is not known to have any inflammatory effects in the lung, thus, we hypothesize that CO could be acting as a marker for other toxins in vehicles exhaust such as UFP and PAHs.
Wilhelm's research focuses on the impact of environmental exposures, particularly air pollution, on perinatal and early childhood health.
Most cars understeer, because it responds in the most predictable manner by slowing and continuing straight when people instinctively jump off the gas when they realize they're losing traction. It wasn't dangerous, but it was definitely slower if for no other reason than the stability control's constant intervention. The parts included 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires, stiffer springs, and intake and exhaust upgrades.
Then again, since the STI offers a more extensive list of standard features, the price variance between comparably-equipped models drops to roughly $7,000. These studies nevertheless have not been able to identify the specific components of particulate matter, nor elucidate the mechanism by which these pollutants affect health in children and infants, which may be different from adults. PAHs may also interfere with placental development and fetal growth early in pregnancy, but more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms that can cause this to happen. She published the first study examining associations between residential proximity to traffic during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes and is particularly interested in how Geographic Information Systems and other novel approaches such as biomarkers can be used to estimate exposure to traffic generated air pollution in large epidemiologic studies. In fact, we'd go as far to say that driving the new STI on anything but smooth pavement can be downright brutal.
In addition to her work on birth outcomes, she is also currently involved in several studies concerning air pollution and exacerbation of asthma in Californian children.
Fitted with race-spec componentry like hardened suspension bushings, a 6-way adjustable center differential, and reinforced cross members, the 2015 STI is one of the few production sports cars that comes suitably equipped for aggressive track use right out of the box. She currently teaches courses in Environmental, Occupational and Reproductive Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, in addition to working on her research.



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