Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2014 Jan;122(1):100-6.
doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206434. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Exposure to Brominated Trihalomethanes in Water During Pregnancy and Micronuclei Frequency in Maternal and Cord Blood Lymphocytes

Free PMC article

Exposure to Brominated Trihalomethanes in Water During Pregnancy and Micronuclei Frequency in Maternal and Cord Blood Lymphocytes

Leslie Thomas Stayner et al. Environ Health Perspect. .
Free PMC article

Erratum in

  • Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Mar;122(3):A68


Background: Water disinfection by-products have been associated with an increased cancer risk. Micronuclei (MN) frequency in lymphocytes is a marker of genomic damage and can predict adult cancer risk.

Objective: We evaluated maternal exposure to drinking water brominated trihalomethanes (BTHM) in relation to MN frequency in maternal and cord blood lymphocytes.

Methods: MN frequency was examined in 214 mothers and 223 newborns from the Rhea mother-child cohort in Crete, Greece, in 2007-2008. Residential BTHM water concentrations were estimated during pregnancy using tap water analyses and modeling. Questionnaires on water related habits were used to estimate BTHM exposure from all routes. Associations between BTHM and MN frequency were estimated using negative binomial regression.

Results: BTHM concentrations in residential tap water during pregnancy ranged from 0.06 to 7.1 μg/L. MN frequency in maternal binucleated lymphocytes was found to increase with BTHM concentrations in residential water for exposure during the first [rate ratio (RR) for 1 μg/L=1.05; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.11] and second trimesters (RR for 1 μg/L=1.03; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.06), and through all routes of BTHM exposure during the first trimester (RR for 1 μg/week=3.14; 95% CI: 1.16, 8.50).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that exposure to BTHM may increase the frequency of MN in maternal binucleated lymphocytes.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 6 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Armstrong BG. Effect of measurement error on epidemiological studies of environmental and occupational exposures. Occup Environ Med. 1998;55(10):651–656. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Blackburn ST. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2007. Maternal, Fetal, & Neonatal Physiology: A Clinical Perspective, 4th ed. St.
    1. Bonassi S, El-Zein R, Bolognesi C, Fenech M. Micronuclei frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes and cancer risk: evidence from human studies. Mutagenesis. 2011;26:93–100. - PubMed
    1. Chatzi L, Mendez M, Garcia R, Roumeliotaki T, Ibarluzea J, Tardón A, et al. INMA and RHEA study groups. 2012Mediterranean diet adherence during pregnancy and fetal growth: INMA (Spain) and RHEA (Greece) mother-child cohort studies. Br J Nutr 107135–145. - PubMed
    1. Chatzi L, Plana E, Pappas A, Alegkakis D, Karakosta P, Daraki V, et al. The metabolic syndrome in early pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metab. 2009;35:490–494. - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources