Background: Pregnant women are exposed to a mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Gestational EDC exposures may be associated with changes in fetal growth that elevates the risk for poor health later in life, but few studies have examined the health effects of simultaneous exposure to multiple chemicals. This study aimed to examine the association of gestational exposure to five chemical classes of potential EDCs: phthalates and bisphenol A, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with infant birth weight.
Methods: Using data from the Health Outcomes and Measures of Environment (HOME) Study, we examined 272 pregnant women enrolled between 2003-2006. EDC concentrations were quantified in blood and urine samples collected at 16 and 26 weeks gestation. We used Bayesian Hierarchical Linear Models (BHLM) to examine the associations between newborn birth weight and 53 EDCs, 2 organochlorine pesticides (OPPs) and 2 heavy metals.
Results: For a 10-fold increase in chemical concentration, the mean differences in birth weights (95% credible intervals (CI)) were 1 g (-20, 23) for phthalates, -11 g (-52, 34) for PFAS, 0.2 g (-9, 10) for PCBs, -4 g (-30, 22) for PBDEs, and 7 g (-25, 40) for OCPs.
Conclusion: Gestational exposure to phthalates, PFAS, PCBs, PBDEs, OCPs or OPPs had null or small associations with birth weight. Gestational OPP, Pb, and PFAS exposures were most strongly associated with lower birth weight.
Keywords: Birth weight; Endocrine disruptors; Environmental exposure; Maternal exposure; Pregnancy.