OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the possible association between birth size and cord concentrations of some organochlorine compounds (OCs), including 4,4′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), 4,4′-1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-dichlorodiphenyl)ethylene (DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), 4 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (118, 138, 153, and 180), and their sum (ΣPCBs) in a birth cohort in Valencia, Spain.

STUDY DESIGN:

A total of 494 mothers and their newborns (born 2003–2006) participated in the study. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed between birth weight, length, or head circumference and OC concentrations.

RESULTS:

Median concentrations of 4,4′-DDT, 4,4′-DDE, HCB, β-HCH, and ΣPCBs were 0.02, 0.46, 0.22, 0.09, and 0.35 ng/mL, respectively. For birth weight there was a significant decrease of 63 and 107 g for each 10-fold increase in cord serum 4,4′-DDT and 4,4′-DDE concentrations, and a marginally significant decrease of 79 and 53 g for each 10-fold increase in HCB and β-HCH concentrations. A significant decrease of 0.39 cm in birth length was found for each 10-fold increase in HCB concentrations. For newborns with cord 4,4′-DDT concentrations above the median there was a significant decrease of 0.26 cm in birth head circumference.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results reveal that prenatal exposure to some OCs could impair the anthropometric development of the fetus, reducing the birth weight, length, and head circumference.

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