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Prenatal Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Birth Weight in China

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DOI: 10.4236/ojap.2014.34010    4,348 Downloads   4,966 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Adverse birth outcomes are a leading cause of mortality in children in China, but the environmental influences of these conditions remain largely unexplained in this population. We aimed to evaluate the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Chinese pregnant women and their newborns, and to examine the association between levels of PAHs and infant birth weight. We conducted a cross-sectional study including 81 pairs of mothers and newborns from four hospitals in four different cities in China. High Performance Liquid Chromatography was used to measure the concentration of nine PAHs in maternal and cord blood and multiple linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the associations of these PAHs with infant birth weight. Anthracene (ANT) had the highest average concentration and detection rate (geometric mean = 69.54 ng/g and 76.5%, respectively) in maternal serum samples, while fluoranthene (FLT) had the highest concentration and detection rate (geometric mean = 68.4 ng/g and 50.6%, respectively) in the cord blood. Most of the measured PAHs in maternal serum and three PAHs in cord blood were inversely but non-significantly associated with birth weight. The strongest associations were observed for higher concentrations of benzo (a) pyrene (BaP) in maternal serum (230.7 g decrease for levels > median vs. < LOD; p = 0.151) and for ANT in cord blood (153.1 g decrease for levels < median vs. < LOD; p = 0.208). Ant and FLT were the predominant PAHs in the maternal and cord blood serum. Serum concentrations of several measured PAHs were associated with a decreased birth weight, although not significantly, suggesting that further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to validate our findings.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Chen, Q. , Zheng, T. , Bassig, B. , Cheng, Y. , Leaderer, B. , Lin, S. , Holford, T. , Qiu, J. , Zhang, Y. , Shi, K. , Zhu, Y. , Niu, J. , Li, Y. , Guo, H. , Hu, X. and Jin, Y. (2014) Prenatal Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Birth Weight in China. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 3, 100-110. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2014.34010.

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