Article

Prenatal exposure to organochlorine compounds and neuropsychological development up to two years of life

Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.
Environment international (Impact Factor: 5.66). 05/2012; 45:72-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.04.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (pp'DDE) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic environmental pollutants with potential neurotoxic effects. Despite a growing body of studies investigating the health effects associated with these compounds, their specific effects on early neuropsychological development remain unclear. We investigated such neuropsychological effects in a population-based birth cohort based in three regions in Spain (Sabadell, Gipuzkoa, and Valencia) derived from the INMA [Environment and Childhood] Project. The main analyses in this report were based on 1391 mother-child pairs with complete information on maternal levels of organochlorine compounds and child neuropsychological assessment (Bayley Scales of Infant Development) at age 14 months. We found that prenatal PCB exposure, particularly to congeners 138 and 153, resulted in impairment of psychomotor development (coefficient=-1.24, 95% confidence interval=-2.41, -0.07), but found no evidence for effects on cognitive development. Prenatal exposure to pp'DDE or HCB was not associated with early neuropsychological development. The negative effects of exposure to PCBs on early psychomotor development suggest that the potential neurotoxic effects of these compounds may be evident even at low doses.

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