- Björvang, Richelle D., et al.
Mixtures of persistent organic pollutants are found in vital organs of late gestation human fetuses
Ingår i: Chemosphere. - : Elsevier. - 0045-6535 .- 1879-1298. ; 283
- Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are industrial chemicals with long half-lives. Early life exposure to POPs has been associated with adverse effects. Fetal exposure is typically estimated based on concentrations in maternal serum or placenta and little is known on the actual fetal exposure. We measured the concentrations of nine organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), ten polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners by gas chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry in maternal serum, placenta, and fetal tissues (adipose tissue, liver, heart, lung and brain) in 20 pregnancies that ended in stillbirth (gestational weeks 36–41). The data were combined with our earlier data on perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the same cohort (Mamsen et al. 2019). HCB, p,p’-DDE, PCB 138 and PCB 153 were quantified in all samples of maternal serum, placenta and fetal tissues. All 22 POPs were detected in all fetal adipose tissue samples, even in cases where they could not be detected in maternal serum or placenta. Tissue:serum ratios were significantly higher in later gestations, male fetuses, and pregnancies with normal placental function. OCPs showed the highest tissue:serum ratios and PFAS the lowest. The highest chemical burden was found in adipose tissue and lowest in the brain. Overall, all studied human fetuses were intrinsically exposed to mixtures of POPs. Tissue:serum ratios were significantly modified by gestational age, fetal sex and placental function. Importantly, more chemicals were detected in fetal tissues compared to maternal serum and placenta, implying that these proxy samples may provide a misleading picture of actual fetal exposures.