4-Nonylphenol (NP) and bisphenol A (BPA) are phenolic substances used in high volumes by the industry. Studies on cells and in experimental animals have shown that both these compounds can be classified as estrogenic hormone disrupters. Information about the exposure of humans to NP and BPA is still scarce, especially regarding levels in human blood. The first aim of this study was to investigate possible sources of NP and BPA exposure from food, by analyzing the levels of NP and BPA from a Swedish food market basket, based on the Swedish per capita food consumption. A second aim was to investigate blood serum levels of NP and BPA, as well as NP-ethoxylates, among young women in Sweden (n=100). Moreover, associations between food consumption and blood NP and BPA levels were studied. In food, NP was to some extent found at levels above limit of quantification (LOQ 20 ng/g fresh weight) in fruits, cereal products, vegetables, and potatoes. BPA levels above LOQ (2 ng/g fresh weight) were found in fish, meats, potatoes, and dairy products. The estimated mean intakes per capita were (medium bound) 27 µg NP/day and 3.9 µg BPA/day, showing that food is a source of BPA and NP in the general Swedish population. In blood serum, free NP above limit of detection (LOD 0.5 ng/g) was detected in 46% of the study participants while detectable levels of total NP (LOD 0.8 ng/g) were observed in 43%. The corresponding percentages for BPA were 25% and 22%, respectively. The results indicate that there is a continuous source of exposure to NP and BPA that is high enough for free NP and BPA to be detected in some consumers. Among the participants with quantifiable levels of free and total NP (n=38), 85% (median, range: 38-112%) of the NP was present as free NP. For BPA 76% (49-109%) was detected as free BPA (n=15). All women had levels of ethoxylates of NP below LOD (0.1-0.7 ng/g). A significantly higher total consumption of fruits and vegetables was reported in questionnaires by participants with NP levels at or above LOD than among women with levels below LOD. This result is supporting the market basket results of relatively high NP levels in these types of food.
Environmental exposure during pregnancy may have lifelong health consequences for the offspring and some studies have association between maternal exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and offspring's birth weight. However, many of these studies do not take into account small-scale variations in exposure, residential mobility, and work addresses during pregnancy. We used information from the National Birth Registry of Norway to examine associations between ambient environmental exposure such as air pollution and temperature, and offspring's birth weight taking advantage of information on migration history and work address in a large population-based cohort. A dispersion model was used to estimate ambient air pollution levels at all residential addresses and work addresses for a total of 25,229 pregnancies between 1999 and 2002 in Oslo, Norway. Ambient exposure to traffic pollution for the entire pregnancy was associated with a reduction in term birth weight in crude analyzes when comparing children of the highest and lowest exposed mothers. No evidence for an association between exposure to traffic pollution at home and work addresses and term birth weight after adjustment for covariates known to influence birth weight during pregnancy. After stratification, small statistically non-significant reductions were present but only for multiparious mothers. This group also had less residential mobility and less employment during pregnancy. The overall findings suggest no clear association between term birth weight and traffic pollution exposure during pregnancy. However, mobility patterns could introduce possible confounding when examining small-scale variations in exposure by using addresses. This could be of importance in future studies.
Seizures are often found in children with fetal alcohol syndrome, but it is not known whether binge drinking during pregnancy by nonalcoholic women is associated with an increased risk of seizure disorders in children. The authors conducted a population-based cohort study of 80,526 liveborn singletons in the Danish National Birth Cohort (1996-2002). Information on maternal binge drinking (intake of > or = 5 drinks on a single occasion) was collected in 2 computer-assisted telephone interviews during pregnancy. Children were followed for up to 8 years. Information on neonatal seizures, epilepsy, and febrile seizures was retrieved from the Danish National Hospital Register. Results showed that exposure to binge drinking episodes during pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of seizure disorders in children, except for those exposed at 11-16 gestational weeks. These children had a 3.15-fold increased risk of neonatal seizures (95% confidence interval: 1.37, 7.25) and a 1.81-fold increased risk of epilepsy (95% confidence interval: 1.13, 2.90). These findings suggest that maternal binge drinking during a specific time period of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of specific seizure disorders in the offspring. The results are exploratory, however, and need to be replicated.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been related to low birth weight, suggesting the foetal environment may program future risk. Alternatively, common genetic factors for both low birth weight and CVD could explain such associations. We investigated associations between offspring birth weight and paternal and maternal cardiovascular mortality and offspring birth weight and cardiovascular mortality among all four grandparents, and further assessed the mediating role of maternal smoking during pregnancy.
All births from 1967 to 2008 that could be linked to parents and grandparents comprised the population (n = 1,004,255). The mortality follow-up among parents was from 1970 to 2008 and among grandparents from 1960 to 2008. The association of grandparental mortality with maternal smoking during pregnancy was analysed in a subpopulation of those born after 1997 (n = 345,624). Per quintile higher in birth weight was related to 0.82 (0.75-0.89) hazard ratio from coronary heart disease in mothers and 0.94 (0.92-0.97) in fathers. For stroke, these were 0.85 (0.78-0.92) and 0.94 (0.89-1.00), respectively. In grandparents for cardiovascular causes, the effects were 0.95 (0.93-0.96) (maternal grandmother), 0.97 (0.96-0.98) (maternal grandfather), 0.96 (0.94-0.98) (paternal grandmother), and 0.98 (0.98-1.00) (paternal grandfather). Adjusting for maternal smoking in pregnancy in the subpopulation accounted for much of the effect on grandparental cardiovascular mortality in all categories of birth weight. For grandparental diabetes mortality, U-shaped associations were seen with grandchild birth weight for the maternal grandmother and inverse associations for all other grandparents.
Associations between CVD mortality in all four grandparents and grandchild birth weight exist, and while genetic and environmental factors may contribute to these, it appears that there is an important role for maternal smoking during pregnancy (and associated paternal smoking) in generating these associations. For diabetes, however, it appears that intrauterine environmental influences and genetic factors contribute to the transgenerational associations.
Comment In: Eur Heart J. 2013 Nov;34(44):3398-923103662
At present, scientific knowledge on depuration rates of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is limited and the previous assumptions of considerable reduction of body burdens through breast-feeding have recently been challenged. We therefore studied elimination rates of important POPs in nine Norwegian primiparous mothers and one mother breast-feeding her second child by collecting breast-milk samples (n = 70) monthly from about two weeks to up to twelve months after birth. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in the breast-milk samples. Linear mixed effect models were established for selected compounds, and significant decreases in the range of 1.2-4.7% in breast-milk concentrations per month were observed for a wide range of PCBs and PBDEs. For the first time, depuration rates for perfluorooctylsulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are presented, being 3.8 and 7.8% per month, respectively (p
Erratum In: Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Apr 1;45(7):3192
CHARGE association is a non-random collection of congenital anomalies. The condition is becoming more widely known to medical and educational professionals. The number of children diagnosed is increasing, probably because of the greater awareness of this condition. This paper considers some of the long-term management problems which are often deferred in the early months, when acute life threatening problems take priority. Questionnaires were sent to parents via the CHARGE Association Family Support Group, UK. Thirty-nine were returned and incomplete information was sought by personal contact or telephone. The majority of children were known professionally to one or both authors and information was therefore checked from medical and educational notes. There is still widespread misunderstanding about the impact of multiple disability, especially when this includes multi-sensory impairment, on the early development of the child. Therefore, the information collected from the study has been from an educational and medical perspective, thereby aiding the understanding of these complex problems. At the parents request, information was gathered about certain teratogens, of which Lindane, an organophosphate, is highlighted.
The authors conducted a cohort study within the Danish National Birth Cohort to determine whether coffee consumption during pregnancy is associated with late fetal death (spontaneous abortion and stillbirth). A total of 88,482 pregnant women recruited from March 1996 to November 2002 participated in a comprehensive interview on coffee consumption and potentially confounding factors in pregnancy. Information on pregnancy outcome was obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Register and medical records. The authors detected 1,102 fetal deaths. High levels of coffee consumption were associated with an increased risk of fetal death. Relative to nonconsumers of coffee, the adjusted hazard ratios for fetal death associated with coffee consumption of 1/2-3, 4-7, and > or =8 cups of coffee per day were 1.03 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.89, 1.19), 1.33 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.63), and 1.59 (95% CI: 1.19, 2.13), respectively. Reverse causation due to unrecognized fetal demise may explain the association between coffee intake and risk of fetal death prior to 20 completed weeks' gestation but not the association with fetal loss following 20 completed weeks' gestation. Consumption of coffee during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of fetal death, especially losses occurring after 20 completed weeks of gestation.
The exposure of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian Arctic to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals through the consumption of traditional food items is well recognized; however, less information is available for Canadian immigrants. The direct comparison of blood chemical concentrations for expectant primiparous women sampled in the Inuvik and Baffin regions of the Canadian Arctic, as well as Canadian- and foreign-born women from five southern Canadian centers (Halifax, Vancouver, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Calgary), provides relative exposure information for samples of northern and southern mothers in Canada. Based on our analyses, Canadian mothers are exposed to a similar suite of contaminants; however, Inuit first birth mothers residing in the Canadian Arctic had higher age-adjusted geometric mean concentrations for several legacy POPs regulated under the Stockholm Convention, along with lead and total mercury. Significant differences in exposure were observed for Inuit mothers from Baffin who tended to demonstrate higher blood concentrations of POPs and total mercury compared with Inuit mothers from Inuvik. Conversely, northern mothers showed a significantly lower age-adjusted geometric mean concentration for a polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE-153) compared to southern mothers. Furthermore, southern Canadian mothers born outside of Canada showed the highest individual concentrations measured in the study: 1700 µg/kg lipids for p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and 990 µg/kg lipids for ß-hexachlorocyclohexane (ß-HCH). Data from Cycle 1 (2007-2009) of the nationally-representative Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) places these results in a national biomonitoring context and affirms that foreign-born women of child-bearing age experience higher exposures to many POPs and metals than their Canadian-born counterparts in the general population.
Ukraine is a highly industrialized country with major environmental problems and deteriorating reproductive health. Heavy metals are known reproductive toxins; a study was undertaken to determine whether they were present at sufficient concentrations to be playing a major role in these health problems. Placental concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc were determined in 200 women from the general population of two urban areas of Ukraine, Kyiv and Dniprodzerzhinsk. Arsenic was detected in only 5% of the samples, lead in 22%, and mercury in 28%. Cadmium was detected in almost all samples, with a median of 5.2 ng/g. Concentrations of lead, mercury, and cadmium were low compared to those reported elsewhere, while zinc and copper concentrations were comparable.
The foetal effects of occupational exposure to organic solvents in pregnancy are still unclear. Our aim was to study the risk of non-chromosomal congenital anomalies at birth in a well-defined population of singletons born to women employed as painters and spoolers in early pregnancy, compared to women in non-hazardous occupations.
The study population for this prospective cohort study was singleton newborns delivered to working mothers in the industrial community of Moncegorsk in the period 1973-2005. Occupational information and characteristics of the women and their newborns was obtained from the local population-based birth register.
The 597 women employed as painters, painter-plasterers or spoolers had 712 singleton births, whereof 31 (4.4%) were perinatally diagnosed with 37 malformations. Among the 10 561 newborns in the group classified as non-exposed, 397 (3.9%) had one or more malformations. The overall prevalence in the exposed group was 520/10 000 births [95% confidence limits (CL): 476, 564], and 436/10 000 births (95% CL: 396, 476) in the unexposed. Adjusted for young maternal age, smoking during pregnancy, maternal congenital malformation and year of birth, the odds ratio (OR) was 1.24 (95% CL: 0.85, 1.82); for multiple anomalies it was 1.54 (95% CL: 0.66, 3.59).The largest organ-system specific difference in prevalence between the two groups was observed for malformations of the circulatory system: 112/10 000 (95% CL: 35, 190) in the exposed group, and 42/10 000 (95% CL: 29, 54) in the unexposed, with an adjusted OR of 2.03 (95% CL: 0.85, 4.84). The adjusted ORs for malformations of the genital organs and musculoskeletal system were 2.24 (95% CI: 0.95, 5.31) and 1.12 (95% CI: (0.62, 2.02), respectively.
There appeared to be a higher risk of malformations of the circulatory system and genital organs at birth among newborns to women in occupations with organic solvent exposure during early pregnancy (predominantly employed as painters). However, the findings were not statistically conclusive. Considering that these two categories of malformations are not readily diagnosed perinatally, the difference in prevalence between the exposed and unexposed may have been underestimated.
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