Biomarker Epidemiology of In Utero Environmental Exposures and Child Development

EPA Grant Number: R836155C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R836155
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico
Center Director: Alshawabkeh, Akram
Title: Biomarker Epidemiology of In Utero Environmental Exposures and Child Development
Investigators: Meeker, John D. , Calafat, Antonia , Mukherjee, Bhramar , Swan, Shanna Helen , Watkins, Deborah Jean
Institution: University of Michigan , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Mount Sinai Medical Center
EPA Project Officer: Louie, Nica
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2019
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health , Children's Health

Objective:

Specific Aim 1: Investigate the association between prenatal exposure to environmental phenols and parabens, estimated via urinary biomarkers at multiple times during pregnancy, and pregnancy outcomes and child development (including preterm birth, measures of infant feeding, child growth, reproductive development, neurodevelopment, and lung function).

Specific Aim 2: Provide evidence for biological mechanisms that may mediate the relationship between early life exposure to environmental phenols or parabens and fetal/child development, including endocrine disruption, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Specific Aim 3: Test effect modification of the relationship between phenols or parabens and fetal/child development by a range of susceptibility factors, including socioeconomic status, maternal stress, and preterm birth.

Specific Aim 4: Develop and apply innovative statistical approaches to explore fetal/child development effects of early-life exposure to multi-pollutant mixtures.

Approach:

Preliminary data show that pregnant women in Puerto Rico may have higher exposures to several of these chemicals than women in the US and elsewhere, significant associations between these chemicals and markers of hypothesized mechanistic pathways, and that certain modifiable behaviors, such as use of specific products during pregnancy, are associated with elevated chemical exposure and suggest effective intervention strategies may be possible. The proposed project is designed to fill these research gaps by leveraging an ongoing NIH-funded pregnancy cohort study in Puerto Rico that is building a rich dataset on environmental, clinical, social, demographic, behavioral, dietary and other factors among 1800 pregnant women.The proposed study will follow 600 children born into the cohort through the age of 4 years. 

Rationale:

Incidence rates for a range of adverse child developmental conditions have increased in recent years in the US and elsewhere. There is emerging evidence and concern that exposure to environmental chemicals such as phenols, parabens, and others may contribute to this recent rise in developmental disorders. Additionally, disparities exist in both incidence rates of adverse health conditions and level of pollutant exposure. There are particularly high rates of a number of developmental conditions, as well as elevated exposures to phenols and parabens, in Puerto Rico. Environmental phenols and parabens disrupt endocrine function, induce oxidative stress, and cause other alterations that may result in reduced fetal or child growth, preterm birth, reproductive tract anomalies, neurodevelopmental delays, obesity, allergies/asthma, and other effects. While near ubiquitous exposures to these chemicals have been documented among pregnant women, well-designed human studies are greatly needed to determine whether developmental impacts are related to early life in utero exposure. In addition, few studies have addressed the real life situation of considering multiple exposures and susceptibility factors individually and together. 

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 12 publications for this subprojectView all 25 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 9 journal articles for this subprojectView all 10 journal articles for this center

Progress and Final Reports:

2016 Progress Report
2017 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R836155    Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R836155C001 Air Pollution Impacts on Neonatal and Early Childhood Development
R836155C002 Toxicogenomics-based Mechanistic Multimedia Exposure Assessment and Child Development
R836155C003 Biomarker Epidemiology of In Utero Environmental Exposures and Child Development