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Distribution and predictors of 20 toxic and essential metals in the umbilical cord blood of Chinese newborns

Silver, Monica K., Arain, Aubrey L., Shao, Jie, Chen, Minjian, Xia, Yankai, Lozoff, Betsy, Meeker, John D.
Chemosphere 2018 v.210 pp. 1167-1175
Chinese people, antimony, autumn, blood plasma, cesium, cobalt, copper, exposure profile, heavy metals, lead, linear models, molybdenum, neonates, regression analysis, rubidium, selenium, spring, strontium, summer, titanium, toxicity, umbilical cord, winter, zinc, China
Early-life exposure to heavy metals and/or trace metal imbalances can have negative developmental effects. Here we sought to characterize exposure profiles for 20 heavy metals and trace elements in umbilical cord blood plasma and identify demographic predictors of exposure. Twenty metals were measured in cord plasma from 357 Chinese infants using ICP-MS. Relationships between demographic variables and metals were analyzed using generalized linear models and logistic regression. Ten metals (antimony [Sb], cobalt [Co], cesium [Cs], copper [Cu], lead [Pb], molybdenum [Mo], rubidium [Rb], selenium [Se], strontium [Sr], titanium [Ti], zinc [Zn]) were detected in all samples. Season of birth was the strongest predictor of metals in cord blood across analyses. Infants born in the spring had 0.1–0.2 μg L-1 higher logAs and logCo in their cord blood (β [95%CI] = 0.22 [0.01,0.42], p = 0.04; 0.11 [0.01,0.22], p = 0.04), while infants born in the summer had higher Sb, logB, logHg, and logZn (β [95%CI] = 0.74 [0.24,1.24], p = 0.004; 0.11 [0.00,0.21], p = 0.04; 0.29 [0.08,0.49], p = 0.007; 0.18 [0.06,0.31], p = 0.005), compared to those born in fall/winter. Prenatal heavy metal exposure and/or trace metal deficiencies are global concerns because of increasing awareness of downstream developmental effects.