Abstract Title:

Prenatal organophosphate insecticide exposure and infant sensory function.

Abstract Source:

Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2018 Feb 2. Epub 2018 Feb 2. PMID: 29402694

Abstract Author(s):

Monica K Silver, Jie Shao, Chai Ji, Binquan Zhu, Lin Xu, Mingyan Li, Minjian Chen, Yankai Xia, Niko Kaciroti, Betsy Lozoff, John D Meeker

Article Affiliation:

Monica K Silver


BACKGROUND: Occupational studies suggest that exposure to organophosphate insecticides (OPs) can lead to vision or hearing loss. Yet the effects of early-life exposure on visual and auditory function are unknown. Here we examined associations between prenatal OP exposure and grating visual acuity (VA) and auditory brainstem response (ABR) during infancy.

METHODS: 30 OPs were measured in umbilical cord blood using gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry in a cohort of Chinese infants. Grating visual acuity (VA) (n = 179-200) and auditory brainstem response (ABR) (n = 139-183) were assessed at 6 weeks, 9 months, and 18 months. Outcomes included VA score, ABR wave V latency and central conduction time, and head circumference (HC). Associations between sensory outcomes during infancy and cord OPs were examined using linear mixed models.

RESULTS: Prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure was associated with lower 9-month grating VA scores; scores were 0.64 (95% CI: -1.22, -0.06) points lower for exposed versus unexposed infants (p = 0.03). The OPs examined were not associated with infant ABR latencies, but chlorpyrifos and phorate were both significantly inversely associated with HC at 9 months; HCs were 0.41 (95% CI: 0.75, 0.6) cm and 0.44 (95% CI: 0.88, 0.1) cm smaller for chlorpyrifos (p = 0.02) and phorate (p = 0.04), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: We found deficits in grating VA and HC in 9-month-old infants with prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos. The clinical significance of these small but statistically significant deficits is unclear. However, the disruption of visual or auditory pathway maturation in infancy could potentially negatively affect downstream cognitive development.

Study Type : Human Study

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Sayer Ji
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