2004 Progress Report: Pesticides, Endocrine Disruptors, Childhood Growth and Development (Birth Cohort)

EPA Grant Number: R831711C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R831711
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Mount Sinai Center for Children’s Health and the Environment
Center Director: Wolff, Mary S.
Title: Pesticides, Endocrine Disruptors, Childhood Growth and Development (Birth Cohort)
Investigators: Berkowitz, Gertrud S. , Canfield, Richard L
Current Investigators: Wolff, Mary S. , Engel, Stephanie M.
Institution: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2008 (Extended to October 31, 2010)
Project Period Covered by this Report: May 7, 2003 through October 31,2004
RFA: Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (2003) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health Effects , Health

Objective:

The specific aims of the study are:

  1. To assess prenatal and postnatal exposures to potentially endocrine disrupting synthetic chemicals, specifically phthalates and bisphenol A, and their association with early and late childhood growth and neurodevelopment;
  2. To assess prenatal and postnatal exposures to pesticides, particularly organophosphates and pyrethroids, and their relationships to long-term childhood growth and cognitive, motor, and behavioral development; and
  3. To assess possible modulation of associations among pesticides, potentially endocrine disrupting chemicals, and childhood growth and neurodevelopment by genetically determined variation in individual susceptibility factors.

Progress Summary:

A total of 479 prenatal women have been recruited to date. Of these, 219 are Hispanic, 163 are African-American, and 97 are Caucasian. Ninety-three of these women have been excluded from this study because of medical complications, terminations of pregnancies, very premature births, not being able to collect specimens from the women before having their babies, delivery of an infant with birth defects, change of residence, or refusal to continue to participate. There have been 433 samples of prenatal maternal blood and 434 samples of prenatal maternal urine collected. In addition, 431 questionnaires and 395 maternal language assessments (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) have been administered. Brazelton Assessments were conducted on 317 newborns. Brazelton Assessments were not completed on all births for reasons such as: the child was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or the patients were discharged over the weekend. We completed 213 1- and 305 2-year assessments, which included administration of a follow up questionnaire, the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment (HOME) inventory, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. During the follow up visits, we collected 194 urine samples (samples are not available when the child does not urinate or the urine bag leaks).

Two year follow up visits continued through May 2004. During this time we also began a mass mailing to over 300 women inviting them to participate in Years 6-10 of our study in which we will follow their children up to the age of 7 years. Letters were translated into Spanish for non-English speaking participants. A tracking database was developed to follow study recruitment, including letters mailed, phone calls, and appointments made and completed. In addition to the 300 actively participating mother-infant pairs already enrolled, another 78 mothers and infants from a community intervention project in a previous cycle of this grant (R827039) are being recruited. These 78 women have been contacted through letters and phone calls.

The study team was working with Project 1 (R831711C001) to develop questionnaires in order to evaluate exposure to endocrine altering agents, and assess physical activity and anthropometry in children. These questionnaires (“Product Use”, “Physical Activity”) were also translated into Spanish. The Product Use and Physical Activity questionnaires were piloted on approximately 20 mothers and their children.

In June 2004, the Project 2 research team took part in a 3-day training in the implementation of the neurodevelopmental testing. Dr. Richard Canfield led the training session, teaching the neurobehavioral assessments that are being administered during the 4- and 6-year follow-up visits. These included the Conners Kiddie Continuous Performance Task, Serial Reversal Learning Task, Line Bisection Task, Global-Local Spatial Processing Task, Tapping Task, and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Scales of Intelligence. Dr. Canfield also trained interviewers on the administration of two parent-report questionnaires, the Behavior Assessment System for Children and the Behavior Rating Inventory.

Study staff were also trained in anthropometry measurement protocols, which included waist circumference and hip measurements and the use of the Tanita scale, which provides estimates of body composition using bio-electrical impedance analysis.

Study preparations were completed in early July, and our new interviews began on July 15th. To date, 20 4-year appointments have been made, 14 4-year appointments completed, and 1 6-year appointment has been made. Four appointments have been completed in Spanish; 10 in English. Child urine has been collected in 100 percent of these visits. We intend to continue to collect buccal swabs from children for whom we do not have cord blood for genotyping. As of yet we have not needed to collect any buccal samples. We also are collecting maternal saliva at each interview in order to evaluate the presence of lipase. We have collected maternal saliva at 13/14 interviews; one subject refused saliva collection.

Significance

Berkowitz, et al. (2004) described our analysis of the relationship among pesticide exposure, paraoxonase (PON) polymorphisms and expression, and neonatal head circumference. When PON activity was taken into account, maternal levels of TCPy (a metabolite of chlorpyrifos) above detection combined with low maternal PON activity were associated with a significant reduction in the head circumference of the infant. The PON gene is responsible for detoxification of chlorpyrifos. These findings are of importance, as small head size has been found to be predictive of subsequent cognitive functioning.

Cornell University Sub-Contract to Project 2

We have designed, developed, and adapted cognitive tasks for assessing various cognitive and perceptual functions for 4-year-old children. We constructed the necessary apparatus, and designed protocols for implementing the assessments described below. The principal investigator (PI) traveled to Mt. Sinai to train staff on the assessment protocols and to test pilot subjects.

Line Bisection Task. This is a test of the child’s ability to accurately judge spatial relations. The child is shown a series of 20 lines, each on a separate page, and asked to make a mark at the midpoint of each line.

Global-Local Spatial Processing. This is a test of the child’s ability to attend to, encode, and remember both the global and local properties of a compound stimulus. The ability to follow a simple rule is nominally required. The task involves showing the child a compound stimulus (e.g., an H pattern using contiguous lines of the letter “s” to form the bars of the H). And then giving two forced choice trials which ask him or her to choose which of two stimuli are similar to the compound stimulus or some part of that stimulus.

Tapping Task. This is a test of inhibition, attentional flexibility, and working memory. The examiner explains the rules of the game. When she taps one time on a table, the child must tap two times, and when she taps two times the child must tap one time. After training to criterion, the examiner administers 20 trials and does not give feedback to the child regarding whether they are correct or incorrect.

Serial Reversal Learning Task. Serial Reversal Learning (SRL) taps children’s ability to associate an object with a hidden reward, and then to alter their response when contingencies of the task change. SRL requires several cognitive processes: (1) cognitive flexibility/ability to inhibit responses to previously rewarded stimuli; (2) associative ability; and (3) rule induction and transfer of learning.

Continuous Performance Test. This is the Conners Kiddie Continuous Performance Task (K-CPT). The child views a series of objects displayed on a computer screen and is instructed to press the space bar for every object except when the soccer ball appears. The test lasts for 7.5minutes and measures reaction time, errors of omission, and errors of commission.

Examiners were trained to administer the parent report version of the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC), which provides measures of impulsivity, inattention, conduct problems, and somatic complaints.

Examiners were trained to administer the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), a parent report instrument to assess the development of executive functions in children.

Examiners were trained to administer the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition (WPPSI-III) to measure children’s Verbal Performance and Full Scale IQ.

Future Activities:

During the next year, we plan to continue 4 and 6 year follow up visits. To date, we have completed 14 visits and are averaging approximately 3-4 visits per week. We are completing analyses of additional pesticide and organochlorine biomarkers in relation to pregnancy outcomes and Brazelton and Bayley assessments of neurodevelopment.


Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 94 publications 53 publications in selected types All 49 journal articles
Other center views: All 253 publications 140 publications in selected types All 118 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Berkowitz GS, Wetmur JG, Birman-Deych E, Obel J, Lapinski RH, Godbold JH, Holzman IR, Wolff MS. In utero pesticide exposure, maternal paraoxonase activity, and head circumference. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(3):388-391. R831711 (2004)
R831711 (2005)
R831711 (2006)
R831711 (2007)
R831711 (Final)
R831711C001 (2006)
R831711C002 (2004)
R831711C002 (2006)
R831711C003 (2004)
R831711C003 (2006)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Other: The Free Library - Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Journal Article Eskenazi B, Gladstone EA, Berkowitz GS, Drew CH, Faustman EM, Holland NT, Lanphear B, Meisel SJ, Perera FP, Rauh VA, Sweeney A, Whyatt RM, Yolton K. Methodologic and logistic issues in conducting longitudinal birth cohort studies: lessons learned from the Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research. Environmental Health Perspectives 2005;113(10):1419-1429. R831711 (2005)
    R831711 (2006)
    R831711 (2007)
    R831711 (Final)
    R831711C001 (2006)
    R831711C002 (2004)
    R831711C002 (2006)
    R831711C003 (2006)
    R827027 (2002)
    R829389 (2003)
    R829389 (2004)
    R829389 (2005)
    R829389 (Final)
    R829390 (2005)
    R829390 (Final)
    R829390C002 (2005)
    R831709 (2005)
    R831709C001 (2004)
    R831710 (2005)
    R831710 (Final)
    R831710C001 (2006)
    R831710C002 (2006)
    R832141 (2005)
    R832141 (2007)
    R832141 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: CCCEH-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Landrigan PJ, Lioy PJ, Thurston G, Berkowitz G, Chen LC, Chillrud SN, Gavett SH, Georgopoulos PG, Geyh AS, Levin S, Perera F, Rappaport SM, Small C, NIEHS World Trade Center Working Group. Health and environmental consequences of the World Trade Center disaster. Environmental Health Perspectives 2004;112(6):731-739. R831711 (2007)
    R831711C002 (2004)
    R827351 (2003)
    R827351 (Final)
    R830827 (2004)
    R830827 (Final)
    R832141 (2005)
    R832141 (2007)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Journal Article Wolff MS, Deych E, Ojo F, Berkowitz GS. Predictors of organochlorines in New York City pregnant women, 1998-2001. Environmental Research 2005;97(2):170-177. R831711 (2004)
    R831711 (2005)
    R831711 (2006)
    R831711 (2007)
    R831711 (Final)
    R831711C001 (2006)
    R831711C002 (2004)
    R831711C002 (2006)
    R831711C003 (2006)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    lipase, paraoxonase, fast food, obesity, endocrine disruptors, neurodevelopment,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Chemicals, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Biochemistry, Children's Health, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, Risk Assessment, environmental health, pesticide exposure, childhood development, pesticides, phtalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure studies, Human Health Risk Assessment, children's vulnerablity, neurodevelopmental toxicity, children's environmental health, exposure pathways

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.childenvironment.org/ Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R831711    Mount Sinai Center for Children’s Health and the Environment

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R831711C001 Growing Up Healthy in East Harlem (Community-Based Participatory Research)
    R831711C002 Pesticides, Endocrine Disruptors, Childhood Growth and Development (Birth Cohort)
    R831711C003 Genetics of Phthalate and Bisphenol A Risk in Minority Populations (Individual Susceptibility)