Under the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and its Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) program, a tri-national human contaminant monitoring initiative was completed to provide baseline exposure information for several environmental contaminants in Canada, Mexico and the United States (U.S). Blood samples were collected from primiparous women in Canada and Mexico, and were analysed for a suite of environmental contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene(p,p'-DDE),beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), mercury and lead. A multiple stepwise linear regression analysis was conducted using data from Canadian and Mexican primiparous mothers, adjusting for ethnicity group, age, pre-pregnancy BMI, years at current city and ever-smoking status. Concentrations of p,p'-DDE, β-HCH, and lead were found to be higher among Mexican participants; however, concentrations of most PCBs among Mexican participants were similar to Canadian primiparous women after adjusting for covariates. Concentrations of total mercury were generally higher among Mexican primiparous women although this difference was smaller as age increased. This initial dataset can be used to determine priorities for future activities and to track progress in the management of the selected chemicals, both domestically and on a broader cooperative basis within North America.
Keywords: Canada; Metals; Mexico; Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); Primiparous women.
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