Research Articles Advance Publication
Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/EHP39
Prenatal Exposure to Glycol Ethers and Neurocognitive Abilities in 6-Year-Old Children: The PELAGIE Cohort Study
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Background: Glycol ethers (GE) are widely used organic solvents. Despite the potential neurotoxicity of several families of organic solvents, little is known about the impact of GE on the neurodevelopment of infants and children.
Objectives: We investigated the relation between urinary concentrations of GE metabolites in pregnant women and neurocognitive abilities in their 6-year-old children in the PELAGIE mother-child cohort.
Methods: Five GE metabolites were measured in first-void urine samples of 204 French pregnant women in early pregnancy (<19 weeks of gestation). Psychologists assessed the neurocognitive abilities of their six-year-old children with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV (WISC) and the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY). We analyzed the results with linear (WISC) and Poisson regression models (NEPSY), adjusted for potential confounders, including child’s stimulation at home.
Results: GE metabolites were detected in 90–100% of maternal urine samples. The WISC Verbal Comprehension score was significantly lower for children with the highest tertile of urinary phenoxyacetic acid (PhAA) (beta (third vs first tertile) = -6.53; 95%CI: -11.44, -1.62). Similarly, the NEPSY Design Copying subtest score was lower in those with the highest tertile of urinary ethoxyacetic acid (EAA) (beta (third vs first tertile) = -0.11; 95%CI: -0.21, 0.00). The other GE metabolites we studied were not significantly associated with WISC or NEPSY scores.
Conclusions: Prenatal urine concentrations of two GE metabolites were associated with lower WISC Verbal Comprehension Index scores and NEPSY Design Copying subscale scores, respectively, at age six. PhAA is the primary metabolite of 2-phenoxyethanol (EGPhE), which is commonly found in cosmetics, and precursors of EAA are frequently used in cleaning agents. Additional research is needed to confirm our findings and further explore potential effects of prenatal GE exposures on neurocognitive performance in children.
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Citation: Béranger R, Garlantézec R, Le Maner-Idrissi G, Lacroix A, Rouget F, Trowbridge J, Warembourg C, Monfort C, Le Gléau F, Jourdin M, Multigner L, Cordier S, Chevrier C. Prenatal Exposure to Glycol Ethers and Neurocognitive Abilities in 6-Year-Old Children: The PELAGIE Cohort Study. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP39
Received: 26 February 2016
Revised: 26 September 2016
Accepted: 26 September 2016
Published: 14 October 2016
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This month EHP’s Children’s Health section highlights recent laboratory research about health effects of early-life exposures. By showing causative linkage between specific exposures and various health outcomes in animal models, toxicologists help to confirm associations found in observational human studies. Together, toxicologists and epidemiologists build the scientific evidence base used by risk assessors and regulators to protect children’s health.
Learn more about rigor and transparency in scientific publishing at the 2017 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, as EHP Editor-in-Chief Sally Perreault Darney chairs and speaks at an Informational Session titled “Addressing Rigor and Transparency in Research and Journal Publication.” At the session, scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, at 5:00 PM in Room CC 314, Sally will talk about interdisciplinary challenges for rigor and reproducibility in environmental health research. More details are available in the SOT 2017 Conference Program.