Predictors of environmental lead exposure among pregnant women – a prospective cohort study in Poland
More details
Hide details
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Łódź, Poland
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Łódź, Poland
The Foundation for Children from Copper Basin, Legnica, Poland
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Oslo, Norway
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(1):49–54
Blood lead levels (BLL) in women of child-bearing age have been decreasing in recent decades, but still remains a concern for long-term effects of child psychomotor development. The aim of the study was to characterize lead exposure among Polish pregnant women and assess the relationship between BLL and selected socio-demographic, economic and lifestyle factors. The study population consisted of 594 pregnant women who had been the subjects of the prospective Polish Mother and Child Cohort Study (REPRO_PL). The women were interviewed three times during pregnancy (once in each trimester. Lead concentration in the blood collected during the second trimester of pregnancy was analyzed using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF-AAS), or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Active and passive smoking was analyzed by the cotinine level in saliva using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The lead level in the blood ranged from 0.3 – 5.7 μg/dL, with a geometric mean (GM) of 1.1 μg/dL (GSD }0.2 μg/dL). Statistically significant associations were found between BLL and factors such as maternal age (β=0.01; p=0.02), education (β=0.08; p=0.04) and prepregnancy BMI (β=0.1; p=0.001). Additionally, BLL increased with increasing cotinine level in saliva (β=0.02; p=0.06) and decreased with the increasing distance from the copper smelter (β=-0.1; p=0.009). Public health interventions, especially in regions with a higher level of exposure to lead, among women with lower SES and among smokers, are still reasonable.
Toxicological profile for lead. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2007.
Wigle DT, Arbuckle TE, Turner MC, Bérubé A, Yang Q, Liu S, et al. Epidemiologic evidence of relationships between reproductive and child health outcomes and environmental chemical contaminants. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2008; 11: 373–517.
Bellinger DC. Very low lead exposure and children’s neurodevelopment. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2008; 20(2): 172–177.
Bellinger DC. Lead. Pediatrics. 2004; 113(4): 1016–1022.
Grandjean P. Even low-dose lead exposure is hazardous. Lancet. 2010; 376: 855–856.
Jakubowski M. Low-level environmental lead exposure and intellectual impairment in children-the current concepts of risk assessment. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2011; 24(1): 1–7.
World Health Organization (WHO). Health risks of heavy metals from long-range transboundary air pollution. Joint WHO. Convention Task Force on the Health Aspects of Air Pollution. WHO, Copenhagen 2007.
Jakubowski M, Trzcinka-Ochocka M, Raźniewska G, Christensen JM. Blood lead in the general population in Poland. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1996; 68: 193–198.
Kasznia-Kocot J. Lead in Cord Blood of Neonates from Chorzow (Upper Silesia). Pol J Environ Stud. 1999; 8(5): 309–312.
Osman K, Zejda JE, Schutz A, Mielzynska D, Elinder CG, Vahter M. Exposure to lead and other metals in children from Katowice district, Poland. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1998; 71: 180–186.
Strugała-Stawik H, Rudkowski Z, Pastuszek B, Morawiec K. Biomonitoring of lead in blood of children – short assessment of results 1991–2009. Environmental Medicine. 2010; 13(3): 11–14.
Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, Yolton K, Baghurst P, Bellinger DC, et al. Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2005; 113(7): 894–899.
Polańska K, Hanke W, Gromadzińska J, Ligocka D, Gulczyńska E, Sobala W, et al. Polish mother and child cohort study – defining the problem, the aim of the study and methodological assumptions. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2009; 22 (4): 383–391.
Polańska K, Hanke W, Jurewicz J, Sobala W, Madsen C, Nafstad P et al. Polish mother and child cohort study (REPRO_PL) – methodology of follow-up of the children. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2011; 24(4): 391–398.
Raźniewska G, Trzcinka-Ochocka M. The use of flameless AAS for determining lead and cadmium in blood and cadmium, copper, nickel and chromium in urine. Occup Medicine. 1995; 46(4): 347–358.
Polańska K, Hanke W, Sobala W, Brzeźnicki S, Ligocka D. Predictors of environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons among pregnant women – prospective cohort study in Poland. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2011; 24(1): 8–17.
A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3–900051–07–0. (access: 2012.09.17).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood Lead Levels-United States. 1999–2002. MMWR 2005; 54: 513–516.
Jędrychowski W, Flak E, Mroz E, Rauh V, Caldwell K, Jones R. et al. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in pregnancy and lead level in maternal blood at delivery. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2006; 19(4): 205–210.
Lee MG, Chun OK, Song WO. Determinants of the blood lead level of US Women of reproductive age. J Am Coll Nitr. 2005; 24(1): 1–9.
Agency for Toxic Substances and disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service 2007.
Mannino DM, Homa DM, Matte T, Hernandez-Avila M. Active and passive smoking and blood lead levels in U.S. adults: Data from the Third National health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Nicotine Tob Res. 2005; 7(4): 557–564.
Rickert WS, Kaiserman MJ. Level of lead, cadmium, and mercury in Canadian cigarette tobacco as indicators of environmental change: results from a 21-year study (1968–1988). Environ Sci Technol. 1994; 28: 924–927.
Connally G. Massachusetts Benchmark Study. Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. Boston MA 2000.
Bonanno LJ, Freeman NCG, Greenberg M, Lioy PJ. Multivariate Analysis on Levels of Selected Metals, Particulate Matter, VOC, and Household Characteristics and Activities from the Midwestern States NHEXAS. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 2001; 16: 859–874.
European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Report of EFSA. Lead dietary exposure in the European population. EFSA Journal 2012; 10(7):2831. (access: 2013.03.18).
Lucas SR, Sexton M, Langenberg P. Relationship between blood lead and nutritional factors in preschool children: a cross-sectional study. Pediatrics 1996; 97: 74–78.
Air quality assessment, Poland 2009. Chief Inspectorate Of Environmental Protection. raport2009zal_20101228.pdf (access: 2012.09.17).
COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 1999/30/EC of 22 April 1999 relating to limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air.