Effects of perinatal dioxin exposure on development of children: a 3-year follow-up study of China cohort

  • Zheng Wang
  • Jin Guo Hang
  • Hao Feng
  • Li Li Shi
  • Jing Jian Dong
  • Bin Shen
  • Ting Luo
  • Ren Mei Cai
  • Ling Jie Shen
  • Teruhiko Kido
  • Xian Liang SunEmail author
Research Article


The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal effects of perinatal exposure to dioxin on physical growth in a 3-year follow-up study. In 2015, 27 mother–infant pairs living in an electronic waste (e-waste) dismantling region and 35 pairs living in a control region were enrolled in the present study. Breast milk samples were collected at 4 weeks after birth. Physical growth, including weight, height, and head and chest circumferences, was measured at 6 months and 3 years of age. Dioxin levels in the breast milk were measured by gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Levels of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and toxic equivalency values in maternal breast milk of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and PCDDs/PCDFs were significantly higher in women residing in the e-waste dismantling region. In 3-year-old boys, inverse associations were found between height and PCDDs-TEQ. In girls, positive associations were found between height and 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD, PCDDs-TEQ, and PCDDs/PCDFs-TEQ, and for weight and PCDDs-TEQ and PCDDs/PCDFs-TEQ at 3 years of age. In this study, sex-specific differences were observed in children, in whom dioxin exposure decreased growth in boys but increased growth in girls during the first 3 years of life.


E-waste 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins Polychlorinated dibenzofurans Breast milk Physical growth Sex-specific 



Electronic waste


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins


Polychlorinated dibenzofurans


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers


Polychlorinated biphenyls




Body mass index


Toxic equivalency


Limit of detection


Funding information

The study was supported by the Zhejiang Province Public Welfare Technology Application Research Project (CN) no. LGF18H260008.

Compliance with ethical standards

Written informed consent was obtained from all of the mothers. The study design was approved by the institutional ethics board for epidemiologic studies at Jiaxing University.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheng Wang
    • 1
  • Jin Guo Hang
    • 2
  • Hao Feng
    • 1
  • Li Li Shi
    • 1
  • Jing Jian Dong
    • 1
  • Bin Shen
    • 1
  • Ting Luo
    • 1
  • Ren Mei Cai
    • 3
  • Ling Jie Shen
    • 1
  • Teruhiko Kido
    • 4
  • Xian Liang Sun
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Public Health, School of MedicineJiaxing UniversityZhejiangChina
  2. 2.Taizhou Enze Medical Center Enze HospitalZhejiangChina
  3. 3.The Second Hospital of JiaxingZhejiangChina
  4. 4.Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical, and Health SciencesKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan

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