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Maternal exposure to ambient levels of benzene and neural tube defects among offspring: Texas, 1999-2004.

Authors
Lupo-PJ; Symanski-E; Waller-DK; Chan-W; Langlois-PH; Canfield-MA; Mitchell-LE
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2011 Mar; 119(3):397-402
NIOSHTIC No.
20038965
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported positive associations between maternal exposure to air pollutants and several adverse birth outcomes. However, there have been no studies assessing the association between environmental levels of hazardous air pollutants, such as benzene, and neural tube defects (NTDs), a common and serious group of congenital malformations. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to conduct a case-control study assessing the association between ambient air levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) and the prevalence of NTDs among offspring. METHODS: The Texas Birth Defects Registry provided data on NTD cases (spina bifida and anencephaly) delivered between 1999 and 2004. The control group was a random sample of unaffected live births, frequency matched to cases on year of birth. Census tract-level estimates of annual BTEX levels were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1999 Assessment System for Population Exposure Nationwide. Restricted cubic splines were used in mixed-effects logistic regression models to determine associations between each pollutant and NTD phenotype. RESULTS: Mothers living in census tracts with the highest benzene levels were more likely to have offspring with spina bifida than were women living in census tracts with the lowest levels (odds ratio = 2.30; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.22-4.33). No significant associations were observed between anencephaly and benzene or between any of the NTD phenotypes and toluene, ethylbenzene, or xylene. CONCLUSION: In the first study to assess the relationship between environmental levels of BTEX and NTDs, we found an association between benzene and spina bifida. Our results contribute to the growing body of evidence regarding air pollutant exposure and adverse birth outcomes.
Keywords
Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-pollution; Birth-defects; Pregnancy; Prenatal-exposure; Air-contamination; Pollutants; Pollution; Hazardous-materials; Benzenes; Developmental-disorders; Toluenes; Xylenes; Skeletal-defects; Spinal-cord-disorders; Information-retrieval-systems; Mathematical-models; Biological-effects; Exposure-levels; Author Keywords: air pollution; benzene; birth defects; BTEX; epidemiology; hazardous air pollutants; maternal exposure; neural tube defects
Contact
E. Symanski, The University of Texas School of Public Health, 1200 Herman Pressler Dr., RAS 643, Houston, TX 77030, USA
CODEN
EVHPAZ
CAS No.
71-43-2; 108-88-3; 100-41-4; 1330-20-7
Publication Date
20110301
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Elaine.Symanski@uth.tmc.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2011
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008421
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0091-6765
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
TX
Performing Organization
University of Texas, Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
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