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Individual heavy metal exposure and birth outcomes in Shenqiu County along the Huai River Basin in China


Exposure to heavy metal during pregnancy is an important risk factor for adverse birth outcomes. We aimed to investigate the current heavy metals exposure levels in cord blood from healthy pregnant women residing in the Huaihe River Basin, China, and examined the association between heavy metal levels and dietary habits and lifestyle factors. In this study, we measured the exposure levels of five heavy metals in the umbilical cord blood from 350 healthy pregnant women and administered 350 self-reported questionnaires regarding the general characteristics and dietary habits of those women. MethodsThis study was undertaken in Shenqiu county, Henan province, which was in the area of Huai River Basin, in a cohort of pregnant women and newborn babies in 2013-2014. We recruited a sample of 1000 pregnant women among those receiving prenatal examination, measured the real individual newborn exposure of heavy mental in serum by ICP-MS, collected the pregnant women information with questionnaire survey and abtained environmental quaility from environmental protection agencies and enunciable literatures. We estimated the dail individual exposure of heavy metal of all the 1000 participants throughout the pregnancy and obtained their birth outcome after delivery. Then we analyzed the association between birth outcome and individual exposure to heavy metal. Results 54 newborn children had birth defects. The geometric mean of cord blood levels of As, Cd, Cr, Pb and Hg were measured at 0.92±1.01 ng/mL, 0.11±0.17ng/mL, 4.57 ±5.02 ng/mL, 3.37± 3.81 ng/mL and 0.89± 1.69 ng/mL for subjects (n=54) in the birth defects infants and 0.43±0.88 ng/mL, 0.52±3.86 ng/mL, 1.94±2.92 ng/mL, 4.38±4.96 ng/mL and 0.43 ±0.91ng/mL for subjects (n=296) from the health infants, respectively. All the five heavy metal contents in whole blood of both of these two groups were higher than the reference values of Chinese general population. (P<0.001) Conclusions The occurrence of birth defects was 15.4% to be correlated in this cohort to exposure of parents to environment containing heavy metal contaminants in Shenqiu county of the Huai River Basin. Heavy metal exposure situation of the investigated population was serious in reproduction defect in their children.The specific link of newborn defects to environmental heavy metal contaminants suggested that mothers’ contamination persists in time, and that the exposure may have a long term effect.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jan 2018, accepted on 06 Mar 2018 and first published on 07 Mar 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TX00009C
Citation: Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Individual heavy metal exposure and birth outcomes in Shenqiu County along the Huai River Basin in China

    Z. Lin, X. chen, Z. Xi, S. lin, X. Sun, X. jiang and H. Tian, Toxicol. Res., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TX00009C

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