2013 Environment and Health - Basel
Mothers and Children’s Environmental Health Study in Hebei Spirit Oil Spill
Background: An oil spill of 12,547 kl occurred due to the collision of a crane and the oil tanker Hebei Spirit, at the coast of Taean-gun, Korea on December 7, 2007. Mothers and children may be more sensitive to environmental pollution.
Aims: We have established a cohort study of pregnant women and their children to enable evaluation that gestational exposure to spilled crude oil components from mother affects their children’s growth, development, and disease.
Methods: Eighty pregnant women were recruited between February to March, 2008 to perform follow-up studies on their children. We collected demographic, socio-economic characteristics, nutritional assessment, oil spill exposure information, and biological samples including blood, placenta, urine, and breast milk. Results: Pregnant women, their partners, and their children were investigated during the first and third trimesters for prenatal examinations, the birth, the 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 months for postnatal examinations were investigated, and follow-up studies are currently underway. Questionnaires included the socio-demographic information, medical and obstetric history, family history, complications related to the current pregnancy, nutrition, oil exposure, and medical utilization of their neonates and infants. Nutritional status was assessed by the 24-hour recall and the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Maternal venous blood at 20 weeks of gestation of less, cord blood and placental tissue at birth, and urine sample from mother at less than 20 weeks of gestation and from their child at 6, 12, 24, 36 months of age were collected.
Conclusions: A continued surveillance of children who were exposed to crude oil components in gestational age is necessary. We expect that the results from this cohort will enable the establishment of a national policy.