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Association between concentrations of barium and aluminum in placental tissues and risk for orofacial clefts

Pi, Xin, Jin, Lei, Li, Zhiwen, Liu, Jufen, Zhang, Yali, Wang, Linlin, Ren, Aiguo
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.652 pp. 406-412
aluminum, animal tissues, atomic absorption spectrometry, barium, case-control studies, cleft palate, confidence interval, diet, dose response, fetus, food additives, interviews, maternal exposure, neonates, odds ratio, placenta, plastics, pregnancy, pregnant women, progeny, questionnaires, risk, rubber, sociodemographic characteristics
Natural exposure to and increasing use of barium and aluminum in various products, such as plastics, rubber, and food additives, raise concerns for their potential health impacts on pregnant women and vulnerable fetuses. We investigated whether there are associations between barium and aluminum concentrations in placental tissues and the risk for orofacial clefts (OFCs) in offspring. In this case-control study, we recruited 103 women with OFC-affected pregnancies and 206 women who delivered healthy newborns. Concentrations of barium and aluminum in placental tissues were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Information on maternal sociodemographic characteristics and diet was collected via face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Aluminum concentrations in placental tissues were not associated with OFC risk. However, a higher concentration of barium in placental tissues was associated with an increased risk for OFCs, with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 2.42 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.34–4.40) for total cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL ± P), and 1.90 (95% CI 1.03–3.50) for isolated CL ± P. There was a positive dose–response relationship between placental barium concentrations and OFC risk. Maternal exposure to barium may increase the risk for OFCs in offspring.