Determinants of manganese in prenatal dentin of shed teeth from CHAMACOS children living in an agricultural community

Robert B. Gunier, Asa Bradman, Michael Jerrett, Donald R. Smith, Kim G. Harley, Christine Austin, Michelle Vedar, Manish Arora, Brenda Eskenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient, but overexposure can be neurotoxic. Over 800 000 kg of Mn-containing fungicides are applied each year in California. Manganese levels in teeth are a promising biomarker of perinatal exposure. Participants in our analysis included 207 children enrolled in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), a longitudinal birth cohort study in an agricultural area of California. Mn was measured in teeth using laser-ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Our purpose was to determine environmental and lifestyle factors related to prenatal Mn levels in shed teeth. We found that storage of farmworkers' shoes in the home, maternal farm work, agricultural use of Mn-containing fungicides within 3 km of the residence, residence built on Antioch Loam soil and Mn dust loading (μg/m2 of floor area) during pregnancy were associated with higher Mn levels in prenatal dentin (p < 0.05). Maternal smoking during pregnancy was inversely related to Mn levels in prenatal dentin (p < 0.01). Multivariable regression models explained 22-29% of the variability of Mn in prenatal dentin. Our results suggest that Mn measured in prenatal dentin provides retrospective and time specific levels of fetal exposure resulting from environmental and occupational sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11249-11257
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


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