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.
Acrylamide has shown developmental and reproductive toxicity in animals, as well as neurotoxic effects in humans with occupational exposures. Because it is widespread in food and can pass through the human placenta, concerns have been raised about potential developmental effects of dietary exposures in humans.
We assessed associations of prenatal exposure to dietary acrylamide with small for gestational age (SGA) and birth weight.
This study included 50,651 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Acrylamide exposure assessment was based on intake estimates obtained from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), which were compared with hemoglobin (Hb) adduct measurements reflecting acrylamide exposure in a subset of samples (n = 79). Data on infant birth weight and gestational age were obtained from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. Multivariable regression was used to estimate associations between prenatal acrylamide and birth outcomes.
Acrylamide intake during pregnancy was negatively associated with fetal growth. When women in the highest quartile of acrylamide intake were compared with women in the lowest quartile, the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for SGA was 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.21) and the coefficient for birth weight was -25.7 g (95% CI: -35.9, -15.4). Results were similar after excluding mothers who smoked during pregnancy. Maternal acrylamide- and glycidamide-Hb adduct levels were correlated with estimated dietary acrylamide intakes (Spearman correlations = 0.24; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.44; and 0.48; 95% CI: 0.29, 0.63, respectively).
Lowering dietary acrylamide intake during pregnancy may improve fetal growth.
Cites: Scand J Work Environ Health. 2001 Aug;27(4):219-2611560335
Maternal diet can result in exposure to environmental contaminants including dioxins which may influence foetal growth. We investigated the association between maternal diet and birth outcomes by defining a dioxin-rich diet. We used validated food frequency questionnaires to assess the diet of pregnant women from Greece, Spain, United Kingdom, Denmark and Norway and estimated plasma dioxin-like activity by the Dioxin-Responsive Chemically Activated LUciferase eXpression (DR-CALUX®) bioassay in 604 maternal blood samples collected at delivery. We applied reduced rank regression to identify a dioxin-rich dietary pattern based on dioxin-like activity (DR-CALUX®) levels in maternal plasma, and calculated a dioxin-diet score as an estimate of adherence to this dietary pattern. In the five country population, dioxin-diet score was characterised by high consumption of red and white meat, lean and fatty fish, low-fat dairy and low consumption of salty snacks and high-fat cheese, during pregnancy. The upper tertile of the dioxin-diet score was associated with a change in birth weight of -121g (95% confidence intervals: -232, -10g) compared to the lower tertile after adjustment for confounders. A small non-significant reduction in gestational age was also observed (-1.4days, 95% CI: -3.8, 1.0days). Our results suggest that maternal diet might contribute to the exposure of the foetus to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and may be related to reduced birth weight. More studies are needed to develop updated dietary guidelines for women of reproductive age, aiming to the reduction of dietary exposure to persistent organic pollutants as dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are suggested to have immunosuppressive effects; exposure in utero and in the first years of life is of special concern as fetuses and small children are highly vulnerable to toxicant exposure. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of pre-natal exposure to PFAS on responses to pediatric vaccines and immune-related health outcomes in children up to 3 years of age. In the prospective birth-cohort BraMat, a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), pregnant women from Oslo and Akershus, Norway, were recruited during 2007-2008. Three annual questionnaire-based follow-ups were performed. Blood samples were collected from the mothers at the time of delivery and from the children at the age of 3 years. As a measure of pre-natal exposure to PFAS, the concentrations of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were determined in maternal blood from 99 BraMat participants. Main outcome measures were anti-vaccine antibody levels, common infectious diseases and allergy- and asthma-related health outcomes in the children up to the age of 3 years. There was an inverse association between the level of anti-rubella antibodies in the children's serum at age 3 years and the concentrations of the four PFAS. Furthermore, there was a positive association between the maternal concentrations of PFOA and PFNA and the number of episodes of common cold for the children, and between PFOA and PFHxS and the number of episodes of gastroenteritis. No associations were found between maternal PFAS concentrations and the allergy- and asthma-related health outcomes investigated. The results indicate that pre-natal exposure to PFAS may be associated with immunosuppression in early childhood.
We investigated whether prenatal exposure from the maternal diet to the toxicants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins is associated with the development of immune-related diseases in childhood. Children participating in BraMat, a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), were followed in the three first years of life using annual questionnaires (0-3years; n=162, 2-3years; n=180), and blood parameters were examined at three years of age (n=114). The maternal intake of the toxicants was calculated using a validated food frequency questionnaire from MoBa. Maternal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with an increased risk of wheeze and more frequent upper respiratory tract infections. Furthermore, maternal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with reduced antibody response to a measles vaccine. No associations were found between prenatal exposure and immunophenotype data, allergic sensitization and vaccine-induced antibody responses other than measles. Our results suggest that prenatal dietary exposure to PCBs and dioxins may increase the risk of wheeze and the susceptibility to infectious diseases in early childhood.
The birth cohort BraMat (n = 205; a sub-cohort of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health) was established to study whether prenatal exposure to toxicants from the maternal diet affects immunological health outcomes in children. We here report on the environmental pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, as well as acrylamide generated in food during heat treatment. The frequency of common infections, eczema or itchiness, and periods of more than 10 days of dry cough, chest tightness or wheeze (called wheeze) in the children during the first year of life was assessed by questionnaire data (n = 195). Prenatal dietary exposure to the toxicants was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire from MoBa. Prenatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins was found to be associated with increased risk of wheeze and exanthema subitum, and also with increased frequency of upper respiratory tract infections. We found no associations between prenatal exposure to acrylamide and the health outcomes investigated. Our results suggest that prenatal dietary exposure to dioxins and PCBs may increase the risk of wheeze and infectious diseases during the first year of life.