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Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2016 Jun;50(6):563-8. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-9624.2016.06.019.

[Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure and birth defects].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University; Insititute of Reproductive and Child Health/Ministry of Health Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.


Birth defects are one of the most common adverse birth outcomes, which create a heavy economic burden to the country, society and family. And they are also one of the biggest problems facing public health today. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of toxic pollutants existing in the environment widely, resulting from incomplete organic matter combustion, and can be taken into the body through various ways including the digestive tract, respiratory tract and so on. Recent researches suggest that the exposure of PAHs may be associated with various birth defects, while the special mechanism isn't very clear. This paper is a review of the relationship between PAHs and birth defects from the aspects of epidemiological data, experimental evidence on animals, which indicates that exposure of PAHs during pregnancy may be associated with birth defects including congenital heart defects, neural tube defects and cleft lip/plate. Furthermore, we explored the possible mechanism, including oxidative stress, oxidative damage and the changes of signal transduction pathway in order to provide some recommendations and suggestions on the future work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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