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Toxicol Lett. 1997 Mar 14;91(1):57-61.

Cadmium levels in maternal, cord and newborn blood in Mexico City.

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  • 1Department of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Manuel Velasco Suárez, Mexico City, Mexico.


Blood samples were withdrawn from n = 49 mothers and their children at the moment of birth to assess blood cadmium levels of the mother, the newborn and the cord. A questionnaire was applied to the mothers in order to obtain data about possible sources of cadmium exposure. Maternal blood cadmium was found significantly correlated (r2 = 0.578) with cord blood cadmium levels, while cord blood was correlated (r2 = 0.499) with newborn blood cadmium. Nevertheless, maternal blood cadmium and newborn blood cadmium were not correlated at all (r2 = 0.047). Previous smoking habits of the mother increased maternal blood cadmium concentrations significantly, but it did not modify cadmium concentrations of either the cord or the newborn. The latter result suggests the existence of a placental barrier for cadmium. Birthweight was found to be inversely associated (P < 0.06) only with cord blood cadmium levels. The results of the study suggest that cord blood cadmium holds information about both maternal and newborn cadmium status and also about cadmium effects on birthweight.

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