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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10), 10165-10181; doi:10.3390/ijerph111010165

Concurrent Fetal Exposure to Multiple Environmental Chemicals along the U.S.—Mexico Border: An Exploratory Study in Brownsville, Texas

University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus, 80 Fort Brown—AHC, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA
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Received: 20 June 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Abstract

There is mounting concern that cumulative exposure to diverse chemicals in the environment may contribute to observed adverse health outcomes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. To investigate this situation, biomarker concentrations of organochlorine (OC) pesticides/metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in maternal and umbilical cord blood from pregnant Hispanic women in Brownsville, TX. Results show that both mothers and fetuses were exposed concurrently to a variety of relatively low-level, hazardous environmental chemicals. Approximately 10% of the blood specimens had comparatively high concentrations of specific OC pesticides, PCBs and PAHs. Because many pregnant women in Brownsville live in socioeconomically-disadvantaged and environmentally-challenging circumstances, there is appropriate concern that exposure to these exogenous substances, either individually or in combination, may contribute to endemic health problems in this population, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. The challenge is to identify individuals at highest comparative risk and then implement effective programs to either prevent or reduce cumulative exposures that pose significant health-related threats. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomarkers; chemical mixtures; cord blood; fetal exposure; health disparities; Hispanic health; organochlorine pesticides; PAHs; PCBs biomarkers; chemical mixtures; cord blood; fetal exposure; health disparities; Hispanic health; organochlorine pesticides; PAHs; PCBs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sexton, K.; Salinas, J.J. Concurrent Fetal Exposure to Multiple Environmental Chemicals along the U.S.—Mexico Border: An Exploratory Study in Brownsville, Texas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 10165-10181.

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