Skip to main content

Levels of Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Umbilical Cord Blood and the Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: a Population-Based Study

Abstract

To better understand the relationship between prenatal exposure to heavy metals and trace elements and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, we investigated the status of heavy metals and trace elements level in a Chinese population by collecting umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood heavy metals and trace elements concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry. No differences with statistical significance in the median arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), strontium (Sr), thallium (Tl), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn) concentrations were observed between the adverse pregnancy outcome group and the reference group. Titanium (Ti) and antimony (Sb) were found at higher levels with statistical significance in the cord blood samples with adverse pregnancy group when compared to the ones in the reference group. The association between Ti levels and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes remained significant after adjusting for potential confounding factors, including newborn weight. These results indicated that environmental exposure to Ti may increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Chinese women without occupational exposure.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Al-Saleh I, Shinwari N, Mashhour A, Mohamed GD, Rabah A (2011) Heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) in maternal, cord blood and placenta of healthy women. Int J Hyg Environ Health 214(2):79–101

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Xie X, Ding G, Cui C, Chen L, Gao Y, Zhou Y, Shi R, Tian Y (2013) The effects of low-level prenatal lead exposure on birth outcomes. Environ Pollut 175:30–34

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Jin L, Zhang L, Li Z, Liu J, Ye R, Ren A (2013) Placental concentrations of mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic and the risk of neural tube defects in a Chinese population. Reprod Toxicol 35:25–31

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Liu X, Hu Q, Fang Z, Zhang X, Zhang B (2009) Magnetic chitosan nanocomposites: a useful recyclable tool for heavy metal ion removal. Langmuir 25(1):3–8

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Sanyal A, Rautaray D, Bansal V, Ahmad A, Sastry M (2005) Heavy-metal remediation by a fungus as a means of production of lead and cadmium carbonate crystals. Langmuir 21(16):7220–7224

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Wells PG, Lee CJ, McCallum GP, Perstin J, Harper PA (2010) Receptor-and reactive intermediate-mediated mechanisms of teratogenesis. In: Uetrecht J (ed) Adverse drug reactions, handbook of experimental pharmacology. Springer, Berlin, pp 131–162

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  7. Caserta D, Graziano A, Monte GL, Bordi G, Moscarini M (2013) Heavy metals and placental fetal-maternal barrier: a mini-review on the major concerns. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 17(16):2198–2206

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Iyengar G, Rapp A (2001) Human placenta as a ‘dual’biomarker for monitoring fetal and maternal environment with special reference to potentially toxic trace elements. Part 3: toxic trace elements in placenta and placenta as a biomarker for these elements. Sci Total Environ 280(1):221–238

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Cantonwine D, Hu H, Sánchez BN, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Smith D, Ettinger AS, Mercado-García A, Hernández-Avila M, Wright RO, Téllez-Rojo MM (2010) Critical windows of fetal lead exposure: adverse impacts on length of gestation and risk of premature delivery. J Occup Environ Med 52(11):1106–1111

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Ronco A, Urrutia M, Montenegro M, Llanos M (2009) Cadmium exposure during pregnancy reduces birth weight and increases maternal and foetal glucocorticoids. Toxicol Lett 188(3):186–191

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Al-Saleh I, Shinwari N, Mashhour A, Rabah A (2013) Birth outcome measures and maternal exposure to heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) in Saudi Arabian population. Int J Hyg Environ Health 217(2–3):205–218

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Goullé JP, Mahieu L, Castermant J, Neveu N, Bonneau L, Lainé G, Bouige D, Lacroix C (2005) Metal and metalloid multi-elementary ICP-MS validation in whole blood, plasma, urine and hair: reference values. Forensic Sci Int 153(1):39–44

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Butler Walker J, Houseman J, Seddon L, McMullen E, Tofflemire K, Mills C, Corriveau A, Weber JP, LeBlanc A, Walker M (2006) Maternal and umbilical cord blood levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, and essential trace elements in Arctic Canada. Environ Res 100(3):295–318

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Parajuli RP, Fujiwara T, Umezaki M, Furusawa H, Ser PH, Watanabe C (2012) Cord blood levels of toxic and essential trace elements and their determinants in the Terai region of Nepal: a birth cohort study. Biol Trace Elem Res 147(1–3):75–83

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Ni W, Huang Y, Wang X, Zhang J, Wu K (2014) Associations of neonatal lead, cadmium, chromium and nickel co-exposure with DNA oxidative damage in an electronic waste recycling town. Sci Total Environ 472:354–362

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ipach I, Schäfer R, Mittag F, Leichtle C, Wolf P, Kluba T (2012) The development of whole blood titanium levels after instrumented spinal fusion—is there a correlation between the number of fused segments and titanium levels? BMC Musculoskel Disord 13(1):159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Sicilia A, Cuesta S, Coma G, Arregui I, Guisasola C, Ruiz E, Maestro A (2008) Titanium allergy in dental implant patients: a clinical study on 1500 consecutive patients. COIR 19(8):823–835

    Google Scholar 

  18. Arys A, Philippart C, Dourov N, He Y, Le Q, Pireaux JJ (1998) Analysis of titanium dental implants after failure of osseointegration: combined histological, electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy approach. J Biomed Mater Res 43(3):300–312

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Cunningham BW, Orbegoso CM, Dmitriev AE, Hallab NJ, Sefter JC, McAfee PC (2002) The effect of titanium particulate on development and maintenance of a posterolateral spinal arthrodesis: an in vivo rabbit model. Spine 27(18):1971–1981

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Li N, Duan Y, Hong M, Zheng L, Fei M, Zhao X, Wang J, Cui Y, Liu H, Cai J (2010) Spleen injury and apoptotic pathway in mice caused by titanium dioxide nanoparticules. Toxicol Lett 195(2):161–168

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Chen J, Dong X, Zhao J, Tang G (2009) In vivo acute toxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles to mice after intraperitioneal injection. J Appl Toxicol 29(4):330–337

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Wang Y, Chen Z, Ba T, Pu J, Chen T, Song Y, Gu Y, Qian Q, Xu Y, Xiang K (2013) Susceptibility of young and adult rats to the oral toxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Small 9(9–10):1742–1752

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Trouiller B, Reliene R, Westbrook A, Solaimani P, Schiestl RH (2009) Titanium dioxide nanoparticles induce DNA damage and genetic instability in vivo in mice. Cancer Res 69(22):8784–8789

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Luo Z, Wang Z, Li Q, Pan Q, Yan C, Liu F (2011) Spatial distribution, electron microscopy analysis of titanium and its correlation to heavy metals: occurrence and sources of titanium nanomaterials in surface sediments from Xiamen Bay, China. J Environ Monit 13(4):1046–1052

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Shi H, Magaye R, Castranova V, Zhao J (2013) Titanium dioxide nanoparticles: a review of current toxicological data. Part Fibre Toxicol 10(1):15

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Liu H, Ma L, Zhao J, Liu J, Yan J, Ruan J, Hong F (2009) Biochemical toxicity of nano-anatase TiO2 particles in mice. Biol Trace Elem Res 129(1–3):170–180

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Wang J, Zhou G, Chen C, Yu H, Wang T, Ma Y, Jia G, Gao Y, Li B, Sun J, Li Y, Jiao F, Zhao Y, Chai Z (2007) Acute toxicity and biodistribution of different sized titanium dioxide particles in mice after oral administration. Toxicol Lett 168(2):176–185

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Tamura K, Takashi N, Kumazawa R, Watari F, Totsuka Y (2002) Effects of particle size on cell function and morphology in titanium and nickel. Mater Trans 43(12):3052–3057

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Bell ML, Belanger K, Ebisu K, Gent JF, Leaderer BP (2012) Relationship between birth weight and exposure to airborne fine particulate potassium and titanium during gestation. Environ Res 117:83–89

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Yamashita K, Yoshioka Y, Higashisaka K, Mimura K, Morishita Y, Nozaki M, Yoshida T, Ogura T, Nabeshi H, Nagano K, Abe Y, Kamada H, Monobe Y, Imazawa T, Aoshima H, Shishido K, Kawai Y, Mayumi T, Tsunoda S, Itoh N, Yoshikawa T, Yanagihara I, Saito S, Tsutsumi Y (2011) Silica and titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause pregnancy complications in mice. Nat Nanotechnol 6(5):321–328

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Xu L, Yu Y, Yu J, Chen J, Niu Z, Yin L, Zhang F, Liao X, Chen Y (2013) Spatial distribution and sources identification of elements in PM2.5among the coastal city group in the Western Taiwan Strait region, China. Sci Total Environ 442:77–85

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Gao G, Ze Y, Li B, Zhao X, Zhang T, Sheng L, Hu R, Gui S, Sang X, Sun Q (2012) Ovarian dysfunction and gene-expressed characteristics of female mice caused by long-term exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles. J Hazard Mater 243:19–27

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Zhao X, Ze Y, Gao G, Sang X, Li B, Gui S, Sheng L, Sun Q, Cheng J, Cheng Z (2013) Nanosized TiO2-induced reproductive system dysfunction and its mechanism in female mice. PLoS One 8(4):e59378

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the project of the Xiamen Science and Technology Program (3502Z20114026) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2012121045). We thank Dr. Yixin Yao for her assistance with the English language.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interests.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yulin Zhou or Zhenghong Zuo.

Additional information

Guanchao Zheng and Hongxiu Zhong are co-first authors.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

ESM 1

(DOC 47.0 kb)

ESM 2

(DOC 464 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zheng, G., Zhong, H., Guo, Z. et al. Levels of Heavy Metals and Trace Elements in Umbilical Cord Blood and the Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: a Population-Based Study. Biol Trace Elem Res 160, 437–444 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-0057-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-0057-x

Keywords

  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Umbilical cord blood
  • Heavy metals and trace elements