, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 8557-8566
Date: 16 May 2013

Anthropometric, socioeconomic, and maternal health determinants of placental transfer of organochlorine compounds

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The aim of this study was to relate placental transfer, quantified by the cord to maternal serum concentration ratio (C/M), of five organochlorine pesticides (OCP) hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) , p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE and 15 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (28, 52, 101, 105, 114, 118, 123+149, 138+163, 153, 156+171, 157, 167, 170, 180, and 189) to anthropometric, socioeconomic, and maternal health characteristics. We included into the study 1,134 births during the period 2002–2004 from two districts in eastern Slovakia with high organochlorine concentrations relative to other areas of the world. Only concentrations >LOD were taken into account. Variables as age, weight and height of mothers, parity, ethnicity, alcohol consumption, illness during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy, hypertension, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes mellitus, and birth weight were related to C/M. Results of regression analyses showed that C/M was predicted by several factors studied. Positive associations were observed for gestational alcohol consumption, fewer illnesses during pregnancy, maternal age, and maternal weight. Caucasians had a greater C/M compared to Romani for wet weight data of congeners 170 and 180 and in contrast C/M for HCB was greater in Romani. Our results show that drinking mothers compared to abstaining expose their fetuses not only to alcohol but to an increased level of several PCB congeners. A straightforward explanation of associations between C/M shifts and factors studied is very difficult, however, with regard to the high lipophilicity of OCPs and PCBs, changes in their kinetics probably reflect lipid kinetics.

Responsible editor: Leif Kronberg