208414 Biological monitoring of environmental exposures in pregnant women: Stability of biomarkers and contribution of tobacco smoke exposures

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:45 PM

Penelope J.E. Quintana, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Denise E. Roberts, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Teresa Dodd-Butera, RN, PhD, DABAT , College of Natural Sciences, CSU San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA
Biological monitoring, estimating exposure to environmental chemicals through measurement of the chemical or its metabolites in biological tissues, has proved a reliable and useful tool for exposure assessment. Increased awareness of the special vulnerability of the pregnant woman and fetus to environmental exposures has prompted an expansion of studies in this population. However, little is known about the effect of pregnancy on the interpretation of biological monitoring values relative to non-pregnant women. Known physiological changes such as plasma volume expansion could affect the levels of contaminants found in the mother. The effect of pregnancy on levels of biological markers of 58 contaminants was assessed in 505 pregnant subjects drawn from a series of national surveys conducted by the CDC (Third National Report on Human Exposure) for the years 1999-2002. Levels of many contaminants appeared unaffected by trimester of pregnancy. Some metals and phthalate concentrations declined from first to third trimester, implying that exposures might be underestimated in pregnant women. Many organochlorine levels appeared to increase over the pregnancy, which may reflect increased mobilization from adipose tissue and present an exposure risk to the fetus. The metals antimony and cadmium and most polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites were significantly correlated (p<0.01) with cotinine, implying that smoking or exposure to environmental tobacco smoke represents a major source of these contaminants for pregnant women. It is important for researchers to determine the magnitude of the effect pregnancy has upon the interpretation of biological markers in order to support studies in this vulnerable population.

Learning Objectives:
Describe physiological changes in pregnancy that may affect measured biomarker levels Describe biomarker levels in pregnant women as sampled in the US NHANES study (CDC DEH Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals) Discuss contribution of tobacco smoke exposure to levels of metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon metabolites measured in pregnant women

Keywords: Birth Outcomes, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived of the study and supervised data analysis and interpretation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.