Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 8557–8566

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


  • Henrieta Patayová
    • Department of Environmental MedicineSlovak Medical University
  • Soňa Wimmerová
    • Institute of Biophysics, Informatics and BiostatisticsSlovak Medical University
  • Kinga Lancz
    • Department of Environmental MedicineSlovak Medical University
  • Ľubica Palkovičová
    • Department of Environmental MedicineSlovak Medical University
  • Beata Drobná
    • Department of Toxic Organic PollutantsSlovak Medical University
  • Anna Fabišiková
    • Department of Toxic Organic PollutantsSlovak Medical University
  • Ján Kováč
    • Department of Stomatology and Maxillofacial SurgeryComenius University, Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava
  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto
    • Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of California
  • Todd A. Jusko
    • Epidemiology Branch, Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Environmental MedicineSlovak Medical University
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1786-7

Cite this article as:
Patayová, H., Wimmerová, S., Lancz, K. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2013) 20: 8557. doi:10.1007/s11356-013-1786-7


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.


Placental transferAlcoholPCBOrganochlorine pesticides

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013