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
  • Source
    • "However, it has also been observed that different environmental contaminants can affect a child's development and increase the risk of certain diseases. In this sense, children exposed to toxic substances, such as those evaluated in this study (manganese, lead, PAHs, and DDE), may influence the function of the central nervous system (Cartier et al. 2014;RfV reference value *p < 0.05, statistically significant difference a 1-OHP as an exposure biomarker to PAHs, units: μmol/mol creatinine b t,t-MA as an exposure biomarker to benzene, units: μg/g creatinine c 1-OHP:Jongeneelen (2001)d t,t-MA: ACGIH (2005)Environ Sci Pollut Res Author's personal copyLanphear et al. 2005;Perera et al. 2006;Wright et al. 2006). For example, environmental exposure to As and Pb can affect verbal understanding, long-term memory, and attention (Calderon et al. 2001). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present work was to complete an exposure assessment in three Mexican indigenous communities using the community-based health risk assessment, which is the first step in the CHILD framework. We used 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) as an exposure biomarker to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trans, trans-muconic acid (t,t-MA) as an exposure biomarker to benzene, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), lead, manganese, arsenic, and fluoride. Anthropometric measurements were also taken. In these communities, high percentages of children with chronic malnutrition were found (28 to 49 %) based on their weight and age. All communities showed a high percentage of children with detectable levels of four or more compounds (70 to 82 %). Additionally, our results showed that in indigenous communities, children are exposed to elevated levels of certain environmental pollutants, including manganese with 17.6, 16.8, and 7.3 μg/L from SMP, TOC, and CUA, respectively. Lead and HCB levels were similar in the indigenous communities (2.5, 3.1, and 4.2 μg/dL and 2.5, 3.1, and 3.7 ng/mL, respectively). 1-OHP and t,t-MA levels were higher in TOC (0.8 μmol/mol of creatinine, 476 μg/g of creatinine, respectively) when compared with SMP (0.1 μmol/mol of creatinine, 215.5 μg/g of creatinine, respectively) and CUA (0.1 μmol/mol of creatinine, 185.2 μg/g of creatinine, respectively). DDE levels were 30.7, 26.9, and 9.6 ng/mL in CUA, SMP, and TOC, respectively. The strength of this study is that it assesses exposure to pollutants with indications for the resultant risk before an intervention is made by the CHILD program to manage this risk in the indigenous communities. Considering the large number of people, especially children, exposed to multiple pollutants, it is important to design effective intervention programs that reduce exposure and the resultant risk in the numerous indigenous communities in Mexico.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Source
    • "(supplementary information). PAHs comprise a list of toxic and carcinogenic compounds (Lewtas, 2007; Perera et al., 2006), which are primarily associated with the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels from gasoline and diesel vehicles (Manchester-Neesvig et al., 2003; Polidori et al., 2008). Due to their semi-volatile nature (Verma et al., 2011), particle-phase PAHs are generally more abundant during the cold seasons. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate the changing contribution of primary and secondary sources on the oxidative potential of particulate matter (PM) in a real-world urban atmosphere, 7 sets of quasi-ultrafine particles (PM0.25) were collected at three contrasting locations in the Los Angeles Basin, California, USA. Samples were collected in the coastal area of Long Beach during the morning rush hour period, representing fresh primary emissions from nearby freeways and the LA port; in central Los Angeles during midday, representing a mixture of fresh primary emissions and early products of photochemical secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation; and at a downwind site (Upland) during afternoon, when the impacts of photochemically aged secondary PM are significant. Chemical composition showed distinctive trends, with the lowest fraction of water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and other organic tracers of SOA formation (e.g. organic acids) at Long Beach, and the lowest abundance of organic tracers of primary vehicular emissions (such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and hopanes) at Upland. A molecular marker-based chemical mass balance (MM-CMB) model indicated that 72% of the total organic carbon at Long Beach was comprised of primary vehicular sources (combined heavy duty and light duty vehicles), while the vehicular fraction was found to be 50% and 39% at Los Angeles and Upland, respectively. Regression analysis suggested that at Long Beach, the variation in oxidative potential of PM0.25 (quantified using a macrophage-based reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay) was mainly driven by mobile vehicular emissions and the water-insoluble fraction of the organic carbon. In contrast, at Upland, where photochemical processing and secondary aerosol formation was the highest, WSOC and secondary organics were the major drivers of the oxidative potential variation. The multivariate regression analysis also indicated that as much as 58% of the overall spatial and temporal variation in the oxidative potential of PM0.25 at these three locations can be explained by mobile emissions and SOA.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
  • 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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Environment international
Show more