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Predictors of Serum Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Exposure Among Pregnant Women Living in California, and Comparison of Maternal and Child Levels

Castorina, Rosemary1; Bradman, Asa1; Fenster, Laura2; Sjodin, Andreas3; Jones, Richard3; Eisen, Ellen1; Harley, Kim1; Holland, Nina1; Eskenazi, Brenda1

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391911.23952.2f
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Chemicals and Environmental Health Issues: Bisphenol A and Flame Retardants

1Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA; 2Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA; and 3Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, CDC, Atlanta, GA.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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We measured levels of 10 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) congeners in serum from 417 pregnant women, and their 7-year-old children, in a predominantly Latino community of Monterey County, California. The most frequently detected congeners in maternal and child serum were BDEs 47, 99, 100, and 153, all of which were detected in more than 97% of maternal samples, and in 100% of child samples.

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We created multivariate regression models to examine associations between maternal concentrations of individual PBDE congeners as well as their total molar sum (pmol/g lipid) and predictors of exposure. We also compared maternal and child serum PBDE levels.

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Modeling results indicate that length of time residing in the United States and having ≥3 (vs. <0.01). Women's total PBDE levels increased 4.1% (95% CI: 2.7, 5.4) for each additional year residing in the United States, after adjustment for pre-pregnancy BMI, weight gain during pregnancy, and SES. Having ≥3 pieces of stuffed furniture in the home was associated with a 75.4% (95% CI: 22.7, 150.8) increase in women's PBDE serum levels. When we examined the interaction between number of pieces of stuffed furniture in the home and SES, we found that women living below the US poverty threshold intensifies the effect of having 3 pieces of stuffed furniture in the home. Child PBDE levels (n = 272) were consistently higher compared to maternal levels with geometric mean BDE-47 levels that were over 3 times higher in the child samples (47.5 ng/g lipid [43.0, 52.5] vs. 14.5 ng/g lipid [13.1, 15.9]).

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Overall study findings suggest that PBDE contamination in California homes is contributing to human exposures in a population of recent immigrant families.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.