Effects of perinatal polychlorinated biphenyls and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene on later development

J Pediatr. 1991 Jul;119(1 Pt 1):58-63. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)81039-x.


Objective: Determining whether early developmental effects of perinatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) persist.

Design: Cohort followed from birth; ages now 5 1/2 to 10 1/2 years.

Setting: General community.

Participants: Volunteer sample of 859 children, of whom 712 had been examined with the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities at 3, 4, or 5 years; 506 sent report cards.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and results: Neither transplacental nor breast-feeding exposure to PCBs or DDE affected McCarthy scores at 3, 4, or 5 years. There was no statistically significant relationship between poorer grades and PCB or DDE exposure by either route.

Conclusions: The deficits seen in these children on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development through 2 years of age are no longer apparent.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane / analysis
  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*


  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane