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Toxic trace elements in maternal and cord blood and social determinants in a Bolivian mining city

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This study assessed lead, arsenic, and antimony in maternal and cord blood, and associations between maternal concentrations and social determinants in the Bolivian mining city of Oruro using the baseline assessment of the ToxBol/Mine-Niño birth cohort. We recruited 467 pregnant women, collecting venous blood and sociodemographic information as well as placental cord blood at birth. Metallic/semimetallic trace elements were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Lead medians in maternal and cord blood were significantly correlated (Spearman coefficient = 0.59; p < 0.001; 19.35 and 13.50 μg/L, respectively). Arsenic concentrations were above detection limit (3.30 μg/L) in 17.9 % of maternal and 34.6 % of cord blood samples. They were not associated (Fischer’s p = 0.72). Antimony medians in maternal and cord blood were weakly correlated (Spearman coefficient = 0.15; p < 0.03; 9.00 and 8.62 μg/L, respectively). Higher concentrations of toxic elements in maternal blood were associated with maternal smoking, low educational level, and partner involved in mining.
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Keywords: environmental exposure; maternal exposure; metallic trace elements; prenatal exposure; risk factors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), La Paz, Bolivia 2: Berlin School of Public Health (BSPH), Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany 3: Hydrosciences Montpellier (HSM), Maison des Sciences de l’eau, Montpellier, France 4: Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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