Dear BiSC Families,

As you well know, the BiSC project is a long-term project in which we want to carry out a continuous evaluation of the boys and girls who participate, to see how their development is in the first years of life.

Why are we doing this study on environmental exposure during pregnancy?

Some studies suggest that environmental contamination may be associated with diseases or disorders during fetal growth and infant development, but the scientific evidence is inconclusive. We are all exposed to environmental pollution, so it is important to investigate the effects that may occur in health. This is especially important in the pre and postnatal period, since the brains of babies are in full development and their structures are forming.

How can we know the exposure of mothers to these factors?

In this study we will make a detailed assessment of the environmental contaminants to which you may be exposed during pregnancy. We will collect information on the different environmental pollutants, such as compounds emitted by vehicle traffic and noise with personal and environmental sensors at home and in the city during different stages of gestation. At the end of the study we will combine all these measures with the results of the children’s health tests in order to better understand how these exposures can have an effect on the growth and development of babies.

What is the study?

Our goal is to include 1,200 pregnant women who make their follow-up visits to hospitals in Barcelona: BCNatal (which includes the San Juan de Dios Hospital and the Clinical-Maternity Hospital) and the Hospital of Santa Cruz and San Pablo. Women who agree to participate will receive a detailed evaluation of their environmental exposure in two periods of one week each during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. This means that for each of these 1,200 mothers we will obtain measures of exposure to different environmental pollutants. The details of the tests are explained below.

If you want to know in more detail how the recruitment of volunteer mothers worked, consult the following document: Information for pregnant women in the BiSC study



We have now completed follow-up at the age of 18 months. In the attached figure you can see all the information that we have collected so far in the follow-ups that we have been carrying out. In addition, at the age of 24 months a subgroup of boys and girls have also taken the EEG test (see news).



Currently, there is less than a year to complete the 28-month follow-up, in which we are collecting the following information:

  • General questionnaire, which includes questions about the child’s lifestyle, illnesses and health, etc.
  • Development profile 3 (DP3), which allows rapid assessment of the five main areas of child development (cognition, motor skills, socio-emotional, communication and adaptive behavior) and offers a global index of child development.
  • McArthur (CDI-II), which reflects the normal process of early language acquisition through a set of diverse manifestations: prelinguistic gestures, prelinguistic vocalizations, vocabulary, and grammar. The test facilitates early detection of language disorders.
  • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which aims to assess a child’s executive function in the context of her everyday environments.




Since April 2023, thanks to funding from La Marató de TV3, we are evaluating BiSC boys and girls at 4 years of age. In addition, we also do a more in-depth assessment of the mental health of BiSC mothers and fathers. Specifically, we ask you to complete or answer the following tests and questionnaires (the visit lasts around 2 hours and no test is invasive):



General questionnaire, which includes questions about lifestyle, current place of residence, etc.

  • PSI-SF: used to assess parental stress.
  • ADHD rating scale V: used to assess the presence of autistic features.
  • SCL-90-R: is a widely used self-assessment instrument that assesses subjective symptom burden of mental disorders.



  • We ask that you bring your health card
  • We measure height, weight and waist
  • We collect nail samples
  • Autorefractometry test: to determine the refraction of the eye.
  • Mothers and/or fathers answer:
    • A general questionnaire about your health, diet, physical activity, etc.
    • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which aims to assess the child’s executive function in the context of their everyday environments. You also performed this test at the 28-month follow-up.
    • SRS-2: is a screening instrument to identify the presence and severity of social impairment within the autism spectrum and differentiate it from that occurring in other disorders.
    • CBCL: is a widely used questionnaire to assess behavioral and emotional problems. In fact, you also answered this questionnaire at the 18-month follow-up.
  • The boys and girls perform, with the presence of a neuropsychologist:
    • The Merrill-Palmer-R Development Scales (MP-R): are a test battery of individual application that evaluates the overall development of the child, studying 3 specific areas of development: cognitive development, language/communication and motor development. This test is based on participatory tasks in which the child must manipulate toys, answer mathematical questions with the help of sheets with drawings, do puzzles, answer questions about vocabulary suitable for his age, or even while imitating motor gestures that show their abilities to jump, limp or catch a ball. Therefore, it is a test that allows a psychologist expert in child neurodevelopment to objectively observe the child’s neuropsychomotor development. Always through games, so that the child enjoys the visit.
    • Kiddies Continuous Performance Test (K-CPT-2): A computerized test that assesses the child’s ability to pay attention. This is a task where the child must detect objects that appear and disappear on the screen. They are everyday objects, such as a boat, a ball, a car, ironing boards,… and react to them or let them pass according to instructions that the psychologist has previously given the child. Therefore, the child must be very attentive throughout the entire task. Exactly, with this task you can evaluate errors of impulsivity in the response, speed of reaction and ability to maintain attention on a task without being distracted. In other words, sustained attention.