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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 94; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010094

Distribution and Predictors of Pesticides in the Umbilical Cord Blood of Chinese Newborns

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, MI 48109, USA
Department of Child Health Care, Children’s Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310003, China
Institute of Toxicology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, MI 41809, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helena Solo-Gabriele and Alesia Ferguson
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [719 KB, uploaded 30 December 2015]   |  


Rates of pesticide use in Chinese agriculture are five times greater than the global average, leading to high exposure via the diet. Many are neurotoxic, making prenatal pesticide exposure a concern. Previous studies of prenatal exposure in China focused almost entirely on organochlorines. Here the study goals were to characterize the exposure of Chinese newborns to all classes of pesticides and identify predictors of those exposures. Eighty-four pesticides and 12 metabolites were measured in the umbilical cord plasma of 336 infants. Composite variables were created for totals detected overall and by class. Individual pesticides were analyzed as dichotomous or continuous, based on detection rates. Relationships between demographic characteristics and pesticides were evaluated using generalized linear regression. Seventy-five pesticides were detected. The mean number of detects per sample was 15.3. Increased pesticide detects were found in the cord blood of infants born in the summer (β = 2.2, p = 0.01), particularly in July (β = 4.0, p = 0.03). Similar trends were observed for individual insecticide classes. Thus, a summer birth was the strongest predictor of pesticide evidence in cord blood. Associations were more striking for overall pesticide exposure than for individual pesticides, highlighting the importance of considering exposure to mixtures of pesticides, rather than individual agents or classes. View Full-Text
Keywords: pesticides; prenatal; pregnancy; infant; neonate; exposure assessment; China; cord blood pesticides; prenatal; pregnancy; infant; neonate; exposure assessment; China; cord blood

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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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Silver, M.K.; Shao, J.; Chen, M.; Xia, Y.; Lozoff, B.; Meeker, J.D. Distribution and Predictors of Pesticides in the Umbilical Cord Blood of Chinese Newborns. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 94.

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