Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 8557–8566 | Cite as

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

  • Henrieta Patayová
  • Soňa Wimmerová
  • Kinga Lancz
  • Ľubica Palkovičová
  • Beata Drobná
  • Anna Fabišiková
  • Ján Kováč
  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto
  • Todd A. Jusko
  • Tomáš Trnovec
Research Article


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 transfer Alcohol PCB Organochlorine pesticides 



This project has been funded by the US National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, grant R01-CA96525 and by the European Commission through the 7FP project OBELIX (No. 227391).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrieta Patayová
    • 1
  • Soňa Wimmerová
    • 3
  • Kinga Lancz
    • 1
  • Ľubica Palkovičová
    • 1
  • Beata Drobná
    • 2
  • Anna Fabišiková
    • 2
  • Ján Kováč
    • 4
  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto
    • 5
  • Todd A. Jusko
    • 6
  • Tomáš Trnovec
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental MedicineSlovak Medical UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Toxic Organic PollutantsSlovak Medical UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  3. 3.Institute of Biophysics, Informatics and BiostatisticsSlovak Medical UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  4. 4.Department of Stomatology and Maxillofacial SurgeryComenius University, Faculty of Medicine in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  5. 5.Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  6. 6.Epidemiology Branch, Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of HealthResearch Triangle ParkUSA

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