Publication

Environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins: Consequences for longterm neurological and cognitive development of the child lactation

Boersma, ER. & Lanting, C., 2000, SHORT AND LONG TERM EFFECTS OF BREAST FEEDING ON CHILD HEALTH. Koletzko, B., Michaelsen, KF. & Hernell, O. (eds.). NEW YORK: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, p. 271-287 17 p. (ADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY; vol. 478).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  • ER Boersma
  • Caren Lanting

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins are environmental pollutants. Prenatally, as well as postnatally through breast feeding, large amounts are transferred from mother to the child. Formula is free of these substances. Considering their potential developmental neurotoxicity, we investigated long term effects of perinatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins on neurological and cognitive development. Given the evidence that PCBs exert oestrogenic effects, and oestrogens are known to suppress lactation, we investigated the effect of maternal PCB body load on lactation performances as well. Methods. A group of 418 infants were followed from birth up to 6 years of age. Half of them were fully breast fed CBF) for at least 6 weeks. Prenatal PCB exposure was measured from cord and maternal blood. Postnatal exposure was reflected by PCB and dioxin levels in breast and formula milk and plasma PCB levels at 42 months of age. Both neurological and cognitive development were taken as outcome variable at 18, 42 months and at 6 years of age. At 18 and 42 months of age neurological condition was evaluated according to Hempel and at 6 years of age according to Touwen. Condition was evaluated in terms of optimality. Separately, the fluency of movements was scored. Cognitive abilities were measured at Is months by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, at 42 months of age by the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) and at 6 years of age by the McCarthy Scares. Daily breast milk volume and milk fat content in relation to PCB body load was evaluated in 102 mothers. Multivariate regression models were applied to analyse associations of measured exposure variables with independant variables adjusted for confounders. Results. At 18 months of age cognitive development was not affected by either pre- or postnatal exposure to the measured PCBs and dioxins. However, neurological examination showed an adverse effect of prenatal exposure to the measured pollutants on neurological optimality score. At 42 months of age we found negative associations between prenatal PCB exposure on cognitive development. However no effect was demonstrated on postnatal exposure to the measured pollutants. Neurological development was not affected by either pre- or postnatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins. At 6 years of age the preliminary results revealed evidence that cognitive development is affected by prenatal exposure to these pollutants in children from young mothers. An adverse effect of prenatal exposure on neurological outcome was also demonstrated in the formula fed group but not in the breast fed group. Despite a higher PCB exposures from breast milk we found at 18 months, 42 months of age, and at 6 years of age a beneficial effect of breast feeding on the quality of movements, in terms of fluency, and on the cognitive development tests. Maternal PCB body load was inversely related to 24-h breast milk volume and milk fat content. Conclusion. These data give evidence that prenatal exposure to PCBs do have subtle negative effects on neurological and cognitive development of the child up to school-age. Human breast milk volume and fat content is adversely affected by the presently encountered PCB levels in W. Europe. Our studies showed evidence that breast feeding counteracts the adverse developmental effects of PCBs and dioxins.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSHORT AND LONG TERM EFFECTS OF BREAST FEEDING ON CHILD HEALTH
EditorsB Koletzko, KF Michaelsen, O Hernell
Place of PublicationNEW YORK
PublisherKluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers
Pages271-287
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)0-306-46405-5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Event9th International Conference of the International-Society-for-Research-in-Human-Milk-and-Lactation (ISRHML) - , Germany
Duration: 2-Oct-19996-Oct-1999

Publication series

NameADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY
PublisherKLUWER ACADEMIC / PLENUM PUBL
Volume478
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

Other

Other9th International Conference of the International-Society-for-Research-in-Human-Milk-and-Lactation (ISRHML)
CountryGermany
Period02/10/199906/10/1999

Event

9th International Conference of the International-Society-for-Research-in-Human-Milk-and-Lactation (ISRHML)

02/10/199906/10/1999

Germany

Event: Other

    Keywords

  • polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, neurodevelopment, toxicity, 42-MONTH-OLD CHILDREN, PERINATAL EXPOSURE, PLASMA, AGE

ID: 3908673