Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) during prenatal and postnatal life has been extensively studied in relation to adverse health effects in children.
The aim was to identify determinants of the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs; polybrominated biphenyl, PBB), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in blood samples from pregnant women and children in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).
Blood samples were collected from two independent subsamples within MoBa; a group of women (n=96) enrolled in mid-pregnancy during the years 2002-2008 and a group of 3 year old children (n=99) participating during 2010-2011. PCB congeners (74, 99, 138, 153, 180, 170, 194, 209, 105, 114, 118, 156, 157, 167, and 189), brominated flame retardants (PBDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, and PBB-153), as well as the OCPs hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, 4,4'dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and 4,4'dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) were measured in both pregnant women and children.
Age, low parity, and low pre-pregnant BMI were the most important determinants of increased plasma concentrations of POPs in pregnant women. In 3 year old children, prolonged breastfeeding duration was a major determinant of increased POP concentrations. Estimated dietary exposure to PCBs during pregnancy was positively associated with plasma concentrations in 3 year old children, but not in pregnant women. Plasma concentrations were approximately 40% higher in children compared to pregnant women.
Several factors associated with exposure and toxicokinetics, i.e. accumulation, excretion and transfer via breastmilk of POPs were the main predictors of POP levels in pregnant women and children. Diet, which is the main exposure source for these compounds in the general population, was found to predict PCB levels only among children. For the PBDEs, for which non-dietary sources are more important, toxicokinetic factors appeared to have less predictive impact.
We estimated the extent of exposure to occupational carcinogens in Quebec, Canada, to help raise awareness of occupational cancers.
Proportions of workers exposed to 21 recognized and 17 probable carcinogens (according to Quebec occupational health regulation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] classification) were extracted from various sources: workplace monitoring data, research projects, a population survey, radiation protection data, exposure estimates from the Carcinogen Exposure Canada (CAREX Canada) Project database, and published exposure data. These proportions were applied to Quebec labor force data.
Among the 38 studied, carcinogens with the largest proportions of exposed workers were solar radiation (6.6% of workers), night shift work/rotating shift work including nights (6.0%), diesel exhaust fumes (4.4%), wood dust (2.9%) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (2.0%). More than 15 carcinogens were identified in several industrial sectors, and up to 100,000 young workers are employed in these sectors.
Although crude, estimates obtained with different data sources allow identification of research and intervention priorities for cancer in Quebec.
This pilot study is one of the first to examine the impact of job strain and shift work on both the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis using two salivary stress biomarkers and two subclinical heart disease indicators. This study also tested the feasibility of a rigorous biological sampling protocol in a busy workplace setting. Paramedics (n = 21) self-collected five salivary samples over 1 rest and 2 workdays. Samples were analyzed for a-amylase and cortisol diurnal slopes and daily production. Heart rate variability (HRV) was logged over 2 workdays with the Polar RS800 Heart Rate monitors. Endothelial functioning was measured using fingertip peripheral arterial tonometry. Job strain was ascertained using a paramedic-specific survey. The effects of job strain and shift work were examined by comparing paramedic types (dispatchers vs. ambulance attendants) and shift types (daytime vs. rotating day/night). Over 90% of all expected samples were collected and fell within expected normal ranges. Workday samples were significantly different from rest day samples. Dispatchers reported higher job strain than ambulance paramedics and exhibited reduced daily alpha-amylase production, elevated daily cortisol production, and reduced endothelial function. In comparison with daytime-only workers, rotating shift workers reported higher job strain, exhibited flatter a-amylase and cortisol diurnal slopes, reduced daily a-amylase production, elevated daily cortisol production, and reduced HRV and endothelial functioning. Despite non-statistically significant differences between group comparisons, the consistency of the overall trend in subjective and objective measures suggests that exposure to work stressors may lead to dysregulation in neuroendocrine activity and, over the long-term, to early signs of heart disease. Results suggest that further study is warranted in this population. Power calculations based on effect sizes in the shift type comparison suggest a study size of n = 250 may result in significant differences at p = 0.05. High compliance among paramedics to complete the intensive protocol suggests this study will be feasible in a larger population.
Inadequate stores or intakes of essential minerals in pregnancy, or too high exposure to both toxic and essential elements, can have adverse effects on mother and child. The main aims of this study were to 1) describe the concentrations and patterns of essential and toxic elements measured in maternal whole blood during pregnancy; 2) identify dietary, lifestyle and sociodemographic determinants of element status; and 3) explore the impact of iron deficiency on blood element concentrations.
This study is based on blood samples collected from 2982 women in gestational week 18 in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study (MoBa) which were analyzed as part of the Norwegian Environmental Biobank. We derived blood element patterns by exploratory factor analysis, and associations between blood element patterns and diet were explored using sparse partial least squares (sPLS) regression.
Blood concentrations were determined for the essential elements (in the order of most abundant) Zn?>?Cu?>?Se?>?Mn?>?Mo?>?Co, and the toxic metals Pb?>?As?>?Hg?>?Cd?>?Tl. The concentrations were in ranges that were similar to or sometimes more favorable than in other pregnant and non-pregnant European women. We identified two blood element patterns; one including Zn, Se and Mn and another including Hg and As. For the Zn-Se-Mn pattern, use of multimineral supplements was the most important dietary determinant, while a high score in the Hg-As pattern was mainly determined by seafood consumption. Concentrations of Mn, Cd and Co were significantly higher in women with iron deficiency (plasma ferritin?
Dietary patterns were related to intake and blood concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDFs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and selected non-dioxin-like-PCBs (ndl-PCBs). Intake calculations were based on an extensive food frequency questionnaire and a congener-specific database on concentrations in Norwegian foods. The study (2003) applied a two-step inclusion strategy recruiting representative (n=73) and high consumers (n=111) of seafood and game. Estimated median intakes of sum PCDD/PCDFs and dl-PCBs of the representative and high consumers were 0.78 and 1.25 pg toxic equivalents (TEQ)/kg bw/day, respectively. Estimated median intakes of ndl-PCBs (sum chlorinated biphenyl (CB)-28, 52, 101, 138, 153, 180) were 4.26 and 6.40 ng/kg bw/day. The median blood concentrations of PCDD/PCDFs/dl-PCBs were 28.7 and 35.1 pg TEQ/g lipid, and ndl-PCBs (sum of CB-101, 138, 153 and 180) 252 and 299 ng/g lipid. The Spearman correlations between dietary intake and serum concentration were r=0.34 (p=0.017) for dl-compounds and r=0.37 (p