Effect of Prenatal Exposure to Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Neurodevelopment in the First 3 Years of Life among Inner-City Children

Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 08/2006; 114(8):1287-92. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9084
Source: PubMed


Our prospective cohort study of nonsmoking African-American and Dominican mothers and children in New York City is evaluating the role of prenatal exposure to urban pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) , environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) , and pesticides, in the pathogenesis of neurobehavioral disorders. We used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development to evaluate the effects on child mental and psychomotor development of prenatal exposure to airborne PAHs monitored during pregnancy by personal air sampling. Behavioral development was assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist. We adjusted for potential confounders including sociodemographic factors and prenatal exposure to ETS and chlorpyrifos. Prenatal exposure to PAHs was not associated with psychomotor development index or behavioral problems. However, high prenatal exposure to PAHs (upper quartile) was associated with lower mental development index at age 3 [beta=-5.69; 95% confidence interval (CI), -9.05 to -2.33; p<0.01]. The odds of cognitive developmental delay were also significantly greater for children with high prenatal exposure (odds ratio=2.89; 95% CI, 1.33 to 6.25; p=0.01). General estimated equation analysis showed a significant age times PAH effect on mental development (p=0.01), confirming the age-specific regression findings. Further adjustment for lead did not alter the relationships. There were no differences in effect sizes by ethnicity. The results require confirmation but suggest that environmental PAHs at levels recently encountered in New York City air may adversely affect children's cognitive development at 3 years of age, with implications for school performance.

Download full-text


Available from: Lori Hoepner, Oct 03, 2015
21 Reads
  • Source
    • "e l s e v i e r . c o m / l o c a t e / e n v i n t PAH levels have been found to be inversely related to mental scale scores in 3-year-olds and to full-scale and verbal IQ scores in 5-year- olds in a prospective birth cohort from New York (Perera et al., 2006, 2009) and to non-verbal intelligent quotient (IQ) in 5-year-olds in Poland (Edwards et al., 2010). Further, PAH-DNA adducts used as indicators of traffic-related pollution have been found to be inversely correlated with psychomotor development and full-scale IQ in 2-year-olds living in the zone with the greatest exposure to coal-fired power plant emissions in China (Perera et al., 2008; Tang et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to air pollutants has recently been identified as a potential risk factor for neuropsychological impairment. To assess whether prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and benzene were associated with impaired development in infants during their second year of life. Regression analyses, based on 438 mother-child pairs, were performed to estimate the association between mother exposure to air pollutants during pregnancy and neurodevelopment of the child. The average exposure to PM2.5, NO2 and benzene over the whole pregnancy was calculated for each woman. During the second year of life, infant neuropsychological development was assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Regression analyses were performed to estimate the association between exposure and outcomes, accounting for potential confounders. We estimated that a 1μg/m(3) increase during pregnancy in the average levels of PM2.5 was associated with a -1.14 point decrease in motor score (90% CI: -1.75; -0.53) and that a 1μg/m(3) increase of NO2 exposure was associated with a -0.29 point decrease in mental score (90% CI: -0.47; -0.11). Benzene did not show any significant association with development. Considering women living closer (≤100m) to metal processing activities, we found that motor scores decreased by -3.20 (90% CI: -5.18; -1.21) for PM2.5 and -0.51 (-0.89; -0.13) for NO2, while mental score decreased by -2.71 (90% CI: -4.69; -0.74) for PM2.5, and -0.41 (9% CI: -0.76; -0.06) for NO2. Our findings suggest that prenatal residential exposure to PM2.5 and NO2 adversely affects infant motor and cognitive developments. This negative effect could be higher in the proximity of metal processing plants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Environment international 07/2015; 80. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2015.03.007 · 5.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Our results showed that high levels of PAHs is correlated with a reduced fetal physical development and adverse birth outcomes (Guo et al., 2012), which were evidenced by altering the expression of insulin-like growth factor (Xu et al., 2013). Furthermore, a prospective cohort study of nonsmoking African–American and Dominican mother-newborn pairs residing in New York City has reported that prenatal exposure to airborne PAHs is significantly associated with lower birth weight, birth length, head circumference, and developmental delay at 3 years of age, and reduce IQ at 5 years of age (Perera et al., 2006, 2009; Edwards et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Informal e-waste recycling activities results in serious environmental pollution of PAHs. We evaluated the body burden of 16 PAH congeners and potential health risks for children. A total of 167 children from exposed and reference area entered this study. Child blood samples were collected; height, weight, head and chest circumferences were measured. Blood PAH and lead concentrations were determined. The blood median of total PAHs from the exposed group was significantly higher than the reference group (68.53μg/L vs. 26.92μg/L, P<0.01). The major sources of Σ16-PAH and Σ7 carcinogenic-PAH were residence adjacent to e-waste workshop, paternal occupation related to e-waste recycling and house as a workshop. Inverse correlations were observed in the age and milk consumption with these two PAH groups, while a positive association was found between BMI and Σ7 carcinogenic-PAH, and between child height and blood lead. When divided into high and low exposure groups by Σ16-PAH, a significant negative association was found between body height and blood PAHs (β and 95%CI: -3.838, -6.469 to -1.206), while for weight and chest circumferences, negative associations were obtained only in the male subgroup before adjustment. After adjustment by sex, age, child milk products consumption per month and blood lead, child height was negatively associated with Σ16-PAH (β and 95%CI: -3.884, -6.736 to -1.033). Same trends were observed for child chest circumference (β and 95%CI: -1.147, -2.229 to -0.065). We suggest a negative association of PAHs and child height and chest circumference, while the correlation is more obvious in boys. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Chemosphere 07/2015; 139:295-302. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.05.080 · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Environmental Research 135 (2014) 221–226 2004; Perera et al., 2006; Rundle et al., 2012 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Preterm birth is an important marker of health and has a prevalence of 12-13% in the U.S. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of organic contaminants that form during the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as coal, diesel and gasoline. Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs during pregnancy is related to adverse birth outcomes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between exposure to PAHs during the pregnancy and preterm birth. Methods: The study population included births from years 2001 to 2006 of women whose maternal residence was within 20km of the primary monitoring site in Fresno, California. Data in the Fresno area were used to form a spatio-temporal model to assign daily exposure to PAHs with 4, 5, or 6 rings at the maternal residence throughout pregnancy of all of the births in the study area. Gestational age at birth and relevant covariates were extracted from the birth certificate. Results: We found an association between PAHs during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and birth at 20-27 weeks (OR=2.74; 95% CI: 2.24-3.34) comparing the highest quartile to the lower three. The association was consistent when each quartile was compared to the lowest (OR2nd=1.49, 95% CI: 1.08-2.06; OR3rd=2.63, 95% CI:1.93-3.59; OR4th=3.94, 95% CI:3.03-5.12). Inverse associations were also observed for exposure to PAHs during the entire pregnancy and the first trimester and birth at 28-31 weeks and 20-27 weeks. Conclusion: An association between PAH exposure during the 6 weeks before delivery and early preterm birth was observed. However, the inverse association with early preterm birth offers an unclear, and potentially complex, inference of these associations.
    Environmental Research 10/2014; 135C:221-226. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2014.09.014 · 4.37 Impact Factor
Show more