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.


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.


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.


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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