Prenatal exposure to organophosphates and associations with birthweight and gestational length.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are often used as flame retardants and plasticizers. Animal data suggest exposure to OPEs could impact children's growth and development, yet impacts on human birth outcomes are understudied. We evaluate impacts of OPE exposure on the timing of delivery and infant's birthweight in the Pregnancy Infection and Nutrition Study (PIN). North Carolina women enrolled in PIN in early pregnancy and participated in follow-up through delivery. Analyses were limited to mothers recruited from 2002 to 2005, whose children participated in additional follow-up in early childhood (n = 349). Mothers collected urine samples in which OPE metabolites were assessed and birth outcomes were abstracted from medical records. Bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP), diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), isopropyl-phenyl phenyl phosphate (ip-PPP), bis(1-chloro-2-propyl) 1-hydroxy-2-propyl phosphate (BCIPHIPP) were detected in >80% of samples. Average birthweight and gestational age were 3326 g and 39.1 weeks, respectively. As data suggest that the mechanisms of action by which OPEs impact birth outcomes may be fetal sex dependent, we conducted sex-stratified statistical analyses. Women with the highest ip-PPP concentrations delivered girls 1 week earlier than women with lower levels (95% Confidence Interval (CI): -1.85, -0.15). Women with BDCIPP levels above the median had 3.99 (95% CI: 1.08, 14.78) times the odds of delivering their daughters preterm. Similarly, higher ip-PPP levels were associated with lower birthweight, but not after standardizing for gestational age. Among males, maternal ip-PPP was associated with decreased odds of preterm birth (OR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.68). DPHP and BCIPHIPP levels were not associated with outcomes in either sex. Results indicate that prenatal OPE exposure may impact timing of birth, though results are imprecise. Given widespread OPE exposure and the urgent need to identify and mitigate causes of preterm birth, further investigation is warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hoffman, K; Stapleton, HM; Lorenzo, A; Butt, CM; Adair, L; Herring, AH; Daniels, JL

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 116 /

Start / End Page

  • 248 - 254

PubMed ID

  • 29698901

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5971006

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6750

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0160-4120

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.envint.2018.04.016


  • eng