Socioeconomic position and exposure to multiple environmental chemical contaminants in six European mother-child cohorts

Parisa Montazeri, Cathrine Thomsen, Maribel Casas, Jeroen de Bont, Line S. Haug, Lea Maitre, Eleni Papadopoulou, Amrit K. Sakhi, Remy Slama, Pierre Jean Saulnier, Jose Urquiza, Regina Grazulevicien, Sandra Andrusaityte, Rosie McEachan, John Wright, Leda Chatzi, Xavier Basagana, Martine Vrijheid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: Human exposure to environmental chemical contaminants at critical periods of development can lead to lifelong health consequences. Traditionally, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups are thought to experience higher contaminant exposures; however, this relationship may not hold for all contaminants.

Methods: Using data from six European birth cohorts (1301 mother-child pairs), we determined biomarkers of exposure to 41 contaminants in biological samples from children (6-12 years) and their mothers during pregnancy, including organochlorine compounds (OCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), metals, phthalate metabolites, phenols, and organophosphate (OP) pesticide metabolites. We analyzed these biomarkers with several socioeconomic position (SEP) indicators (maternal education, employment status and family affluence scale).

Results: Higher SEP was associated with higher concentrations of several chemicals during pregnancy, including certain PFASs, mercury, arsenic, several phenols, and OP pesticides. Similarly, childhood concentrations of OCs, PFASs, mercury, arsenic, and bisphenol A were higher in higher SEP groups. Conversely, cadmium exposure during pregnancy and exposure to lead and phthalate metabolites in childhood were higher in lower SEP. Principal components representing multiple pollutant exposures showed similar association with SEP.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that environmental chemical contaminant exposure during fetal and childhood life is not exclusively associated to lower SEP and that for several contaminants higher SEP groups incur higher exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-872
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume222
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • BISPHENOL-A
  • CHAINED EQUATIONS
  • DETERMINANTS
  • HEALTH
  • MERCURY LEVELS
  • NORWEGIAN MOTHER
  • PERFLUOROALKYL SUBSTANCES
  • PREGNANT-WOMEN
  • URINARY CONCENTRATIONS
  • US CHILDREN
  • DISPARITIES

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