Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Diet as a Source of Exposure to Environmental Contaminants for Pregnant Women and Children from Six European Countries.

Authors: Papadopoulou, Eleni; Haug, Line Småstuen; Sakhi, Amrit Kaur; Andrusaityte, Sandra; Basagaña, Xavier; Brantsaeter, Anne Lise; Casas, Maribel; Fernández-Barrés, Sílvia; Grazuleviciene, Regina; Knutsen, Helle Katrine; Maitre, Lea; Meltzer, Helle Margrete; McEachan, Rosemary R C; Roumeliotaki, Theano; Slama, Remy; Vafeiadi, Marina; Wright, John; Vrijheid, Martine; Thomsen, Cathrine; Chatzi, Leda

Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2019 10)

Abstract: Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to exposures to food contaminants, and a balanced diet during these periods is critical for optimal nutritional status.Our objective was to study the association between diet and measured blood and urinary levels of environmental contaminants in mother-child pairs from six European birth cohorts ( mothers and 1,288 children).We assessed the consumption of seven food groups and the blood levels of organochlorine pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and heavy metals and urinary levels of phthalate metabolites, phenolic compounds, and organophosphate pesticide (OP) metabolites. Organic food consumption during childhood was also studied. We applied multivariable linear regressions and targeted maximum likelihood based estimation (TMLE).Maternal high () versus low () fish consumption was associated with 15% higher PCBs [geometric mean (GM) ; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 1.29], 42% higher perfluoroundecanoate (PFUnDA) (; 95% CI: 1.20, 1.68), 89% higher mercury (Hg) (; 95% CI: 1.47, 2.41) and a 487% increase in arsenic (As) (; 95% CI: 2.57, 9.23) levels. In children, high () versus low () fish consumption was associated with 23% higher perfluorononanoate (PFNA) (; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.40), 36% higher PFUnDA (; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.64), 37% higher perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (; 95% CI: 1.22, 1.54), and higher Hg and As [ (95% CI: 1.91, 4.31) and (95% CI: 2.23, 3.21)] concentrations. Using TMLE analysis, we estimated that fish consumption within the recommended 2-3 times/week resulted in lower PFAS, Hg, and As compared with higher consumption. Fruit consumption was positively associated with OP metabolites. Organic food consumption was negatively associated with OP metabolites.Fish consumption is related to higher PFAS, Hg, and As exposures. In addition, fruit consumption is a source of exposure to OPs.

PubMed ID: 31617753 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Alkanesulfonic Acids; Arsenic; Child; Diet/statistics & numerical data; Dietary Exposure/statistics & numerical data*; Environmental Pollutants/blood*; Environmental Pollution/statistics & numerical data*; Europe; Female; Fluorocarbons; Food Contamination/statistics & numerical data*; Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers/blood; Humans; Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated/blood; Likelihood Functions; Maternal Exposure/statistics & numerical data; Mercury; Metals, Heavy; Pesticides/blood; Polychlorinated Biphenyls/blood; Pregnancy

to Top