The association between prenatal exposure to organochlorine pesticides and thyroid hormone levels in newborns in Yancheng, China.
Environ Res. 2014 Feb ;129:47-51. Epub 2014 Jan 15. PMID: 24529002
Organochlorine pesticides can interfere with the thyroid hormones that play an important role in early neurodevelopment. Although organochlorine pesticides have been banned in China since 1983, their residues are still detectable in the environment. However, few studies have investigated the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to organochlorine pesticide residues on newborns in China. The present study, conducted in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, China, aimed to examine the association between the levels of organochlorine pesticides in maternal and cord sera and to assess the impact of prenatal exposure to organochlorine pesticides on thyroid hormone levels in cord serum. Eleven organochlorine pesticides in maternal and cord sera were measured in 247 mother-infant pairs recruited from Yancheng City between February 2010 and June 2010. The concentration of the thyroid hormones free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), and thyrotropin (TSH) were determined in cord serum. Among the 11 tested organochlorine pesticides, the detectable levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB),β-hexachlorocycolohexane (β-HCH) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) in both maternal and cord sera were above 50%. The levels of β-HCH and p,p'-DDE in maternal sera were positively associated with the levels in cord sera (r=0.421, P<0.01; r=0.288, P<0.01). After adjusting for confounders, the TSH level in cord serum samples was negatively associated with the HCB level (OR=0.535, 95% CI=(0.304-0.941)). Our data demonstrated that DDT,β-HCH and HCB residues bioconcentrate in maternal and cord sera. Moreover, the correlation analysis suggested that organochlorine pesticides in maternal blood can transfer through the placenta and affect newborn thyroid hormone levels.