Association between fetal growth restriction and maternal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers

Yuting Jin, Jialin Li, Xiaokai Deng, Bin Xia, Qi Song, Yingya Zhao, Xiaoxiao He, Yimei Li, Zhangye Xu, Ailan Xie, Jing Lin, Yunhui Zhang, Shangqin Chen

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11 Scopus citations


Humans are exposed to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) via ingestion of food, dust inhalation, and dermal absorption. Exposure to PBDEs via the placenta and breast milk is a special and important pathway in infants. This nested case-control study aimed to investigate the levels of PBDEs in maternal serum and colostrum, and to assess the association between the occurrence of fetal growth restriction (FGR) and prenatal exposure to PBDEs. We recruited 293 mother-newborn pairs, including 98 FGR cases and 195 healthy controls in Wenzhou, China. Maternal serum and colostrum samples were collected during pregnancy and after delivery, respectively, and the levels of PBDEs were measured by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The total levels of PBDEs in maternal serum and colostrum were found to be in equilibrium, but congener profiles of PBDEs in these matrices were different. Increased BDE-207, BDE-209, ∑BDE196-209 and ∑PBDEs levels in maternal serum and BDE-99, ∑BDE17-154 and ∑PBDEs levels in colostrum were correlated with decreased birth weight Z score. Increased concentrations of higher brominated BDEs in maternal serum (odds ratio (OR) = 1.010, 95%CI = 1.003–1.018) and low-to moderately brominated BDEs in colostrum (OR = 1.004, 95%CI = 1.000–1.009) were associated with increased risk of FGR, which showed an exposure–response relationship. In addition, infants with FGR were more exposed to PBDEs in colostrum after birth than healthy infants. Longitudinal birth cohort studies are needed to determine the prolonged effect of PBDEs exposure on the growth of FGR infants in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110623
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • Colostrum
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Gestational exposure
  • Lactational exposure
  • Maternal serum
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers


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