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Chemosphere. 2016 Nov;163:270-282. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.08.023. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Maternal and fetal exposure to cadmium, lead, manganese and mercury: The MIREC study.

Author information

1
Population Studies Division, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Electronic address: Tye.arbuckle@canada.ca.
2
Population Studies Division, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
3
Centre de recherche du centre hospitalier universitaire de sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada; Sainte Justine University Hospital Research Center, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
4
School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
5
Centre de toxicologie du Québec, Institut national de santé publique Québec, Quebec, QC, Canada.
6
Chemicals Surveillance Division, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
7
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Abstract

Given the susceptibility of the fetus to toxicants, it is important to estimate their exposure. Approximately 2000 pregnant women were recruited in 2008-2011 from 10 cities across Canada. Cd, Pb, Mn and total Hg were measured in maternal blood from the 1st and 3rd trimesters, umbilical cord blood, and infant meconium. Nutrient intakes of vitamin D, iron, and calcium (Ca) were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire and a dietary supplement questionnaire. Median concentrations in 1st trimester maternal blood (n = 1938) were 0.20, 8.79 and 0.70 μg/L for Cd, Mn and Hg, respectively, and 0.60 μg/dL for Pb. While the median difference between the paired 1st and 3rd trimester concentrations of Cd was 0, there was a significant decrease in Pb (0.04 μg/dL) and Hg (0.12 μg/L) and an increase in Mn (3.30 μg/L) concentrations over the course of the pregnancy. While Cd was rarely detected in cord blood (19%) or meconium (3%), median Pb (0.77 μg/dL), Mn (31.87 μg/L) and Hg (0.80 μg/L) concentrations in cord blood were significantly higher than in maternal blood. Significant negative associations were observed between estimated Ca intake and maternal Cd, Pb, Mn and Hg, as well as cord blood Pb. Vitamin D intake was associated with lower maternal Cd, Pb, and Mn as well as Pb in cord blood. Even at current metal exposure levels, increasing dietary Ca and vitamin D intake during pregnancy may be associated with lower maternal blood Pb and Cd concentrations and lower Pb in cord blood.

KEYWORDS:

Biomonitoring; Blood; Cadmium; Lead; Manganese; Meconium; Mercury; Nutrient intake; Pregnancy

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