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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Dr. Michele Marcus, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322; Phone: (404) 727-8010; Fax: (404) 727-8737; Email: mmarcus@sph.emory.edu

Acknowledgments: We thank the staff of the Michigan Long-Term PBB Study, Michigan Department of Community Health, for providing historical and laboratory data on the cohort, and, with the Michigan Public Health Institute, assisting in carrying out the Michigan Female Health Study.

We thank Glenn Copeland and the Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Michigan Department of Community Health, for creating the birth records linkage, and assisting in its editing and interpretation.

We thank Anne Sweeney of Texas A & M University for providing the resources for Vital Records to link the females of the PBB Study registry to the birth certificate files for births 1975–1994.


Research Funding:

Funding for this research was provided by US EPA (R 825300), NIEHS (RO1 ES08341, R01 ES012014), and by CDC cooperative agreement U37/CCU500392.


  • maternal exposures
  • infant health
  • environmental toxicants
  • gestational age
  • birth weight
  • PBB
  • PCB

Maternal Exposure to Polybrominated and Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Infant Birth Weight and Gestational Age


Journal Title:



Volume 69, Number 8


, Pages 1295-1304

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Understanding the influence of maternal exposures on gestational age and birth weight is essential given that pre-term and/or low birth weight infants are at risk for increased mortality and morbidity. We performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort exposed to polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) through accidental contamination of cattle feed and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) through residual contamination in the geographic region. Our study population consisted of 444 mothers and their 899 infants born between 1975 and 1997. Using restricted maximum likelihood estimation, no significant association was found between estimated maternal serum PBB at conception or enrollment PCB levels and gestational age or infant birth weight in unadjusted models or in models that adjusted for maternal age, smoking, parity, infant gender, and decade of birth. For enrollment maternal serum PBB, no association was observed for gestational age. However, a negative association with high levels of enrollment maternal serum PBB and birth weight was suggested. We also examined the birth weight and gestational age among offspring of women with the highest (10%) PBB or PCB exposure, and observed no significant association. Because brominated compounds are currently used in consumer products and therefore, are increasingly prevalent in the environment, additional research is needed to better understand the potential relationship between in utero exposure to brominated compounds and adverse health outcomes.

Copyright information:

© 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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