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Children's Health Advance Publication

Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307562

Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposures and Neurodevelopment in U.S. Children through 5 Years of Age: The HOME Study

Aimin Chen,1 Kimberly Yolton,2 Stephen A. Rauch,3 Glenys M. Webster,3 Richard Hornung,2 Andreas Sjödin,4 Kim N. Dietrich,1 and Bruce P. Lanphear3
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1Division of Epidemiology of Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; 2Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; 3Child and Family Research Institute, BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 4Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

Citation: Chen A, Yolton K, Rauch SA, Webster GM, Hornung R, Sjödin A, Dietrich KN, Lanphear BP. Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposures and Neurodevelopment in U.S. Children through 5 Years of Age: The HOME Study. Environ Health Perspect;

Received: 28 August 2013
Accepted: 21 May 2014
Advance Publication: 28 May 2014

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Background: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent chemicals that were widely used as flame retardants in furniture, carpet padding, car seats and other consumer products over the past three decades.

Objective: To examine whether in utero exposure to PBDEs is associated with child cognitive function and behavior in a U.S. study sample.

Methods: In a prospective birth cohort, we measured maternal serum concentrations of BDE-47 and other PBDE congeners in 309 women at 16 weeks of gestation during 2003-2006 and followed their children in Cincinnati, Ohio. We measured cognitive and motor abilities using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II at ages 1, 2, 3 years; intelligence using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-III at age 5 years; and children’s behaviors using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2 annually at ages 2-5 years. We used linear mixed models or Generalized Estimating Equations with adjustment for potential confounders to estimate associations between these outcomes and log10-transformed PBDE concentrations.

Results: The geometric mean of BDE-47 in maternal serum (20.1 ng/g lipid) was comparable to U.S. adult national reference values. Prenatal BDE-47 was not significantly associated with Bayley Mental or Psychomotor Development Indices at 1-3 years, but a ten-fold increase in prenatal BDE-47 was associated with a 4.5-point decrease (95% CI: -8.8, -0.1) in Full Scale IQ and a 3.3-point increase (95% CI: 0.3, 6.3) in the hyperactivity score at age 5 years.

Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to PBDEs was associated with lower IQ and higher hyperactivity scores in children.

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