Objectives: To investigate the association between exposure to unintentionally emitted carbonaceous nanoscale particles (NPs) and small for gestational age (SGA), as well as head circumference (HC) at birth and at two years of age.
Methods: Mothers from the French Longitudinal Study of Children (Elfe cohort) who worked during pregnancy were selected for our study. Data collected at birth and during follow-up (up to two years) were used. The probability and frequency of maternal occupational exposure to unintentionally emitted carbonaceous NPs was estimated using a job exposure matrix (MatPUF). Multivariate logistic regression, linear regression, and mixed models were applied to estimate any associations. Analyses were carried out depending on whether mothers stopped working during the first, second, or third trimester of pregnancy.
Results: Maternal occupational exposure to unintentionally emitted carbonaceous NPs was associated with SGA in the overall study population by multivariate analysis (ORa = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.29, 2.46), as well as in sub-groups of mothers who stopped working during the second (ORa = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.13, 3.02) or third (ORa = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.95) trimesters. There were no significant associations with HC at birth or two years of age.
Conclusions: We found a significant association between occupational exposure to carbonaceous NPs and SGA, with the effect depending on the period of exposure during pregnancy. These results should encourage further studies concerning the adverse effects of exposure to carbonaceous NPs on the development of offspring.
Keywords: Carbonaceous nanoscale particles; Elfe cohort; Head circumference; Occupational exposure; Small for gestational age.
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