Flame Retardants in Placenta and Breast Milk and Cryptorchidism in Newborn Boys

By Main, Katharina Maria; Kiviranta, Hannu et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Flame Retardants in Placenta and Breast Milk and Cryptorchidism in Newborn Boys


Main, Katharina Maria, Kiviranta, Hannu, Virtanen, Helena Eeva, Sundqvist, Erno, Tuomisto, Jouni Tapio, Tuomisto, Jouko, Vartiainen, Terttu, Skakkebaek, Niels Erik, Toppari, Jorma, Environmental Health Perspectives


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants, and the general population is exposed through products such as upholstery, building materials, insulation, electronic equipment, and contaminated food. PBDEs are added to polymers without being chemically bound and can leach into the environment, where they settle with air particles and sludge. They are persistent, and some--BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-153--can accumulate in lipid-rich tissues (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 2004; Sjodin et al. 2003).

Concentrations of PBDE in human European breast milk samples are generally low compared with those in the United States, and considered to be well below the estimated lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of 1 mg/kg/day (Darnerud et al. 2001). Two technical mixtures, penta- and octa-mixtures of PBDEs, have been banned from use in Europe since 2003 (Darnerud et al. 2001), and Swedish studies indicated a decrease in breast milk levels since the middle of the 1990s (Meironyte et al.1999; Sjodin et al. 2003). However, annual production rates of some PBDEs are still considerable in some areas (Alaee et al. 2006; Betts 2002; Law et al. 2006). Animal studies show that some PBDEs exhibit endocrine-disrupting activity, which has been studied predominantly for thyroid hormone transport and metabolism (Legler and Brouwer 2003), but data on adverse effects on reproductive outcome after gestational exposure are also emerging (Lilienthal et al. 2006).

The prevalence of cryptorchidism in newborn boys appears to have increased in some areas, such as Great Britain and Denmark, over the past decades, and its current prevalence is considerably higher in Denmark than in Finland (Anonymous 1986; Boisen et al. 2004). Although the reason for this is as yet unknown, the rapid increase in prevalence suggests that environmental factors are involved (Sharpe 2006; Skakkebaek et al. 2001). Adverse effects of fetal exposure to environmental chemicals on testicular descent and hormonal function may be detectable during the short physiologic activation of the pituitary-gonadal axis at approximately 3 months of age (Andersson et al. 1998; Main et al. 2000, 2006b; Suomi et al. 2006).

In this study we aimed to evaluate the association between exposure to 14 PBDEs (BDEs 28, 47, 66, 71, 75, 77, 85, 99, 100,119, 138, 153, 154, 183) in newborn boys and the position and function of the testes.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted according to the Helsinki II Declaration (World Medical Association 2000) after informed oral and written consent of the parents. The ethical committees (Finland: 7/1996; Denmark: KF01-030/97) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (1997-1200-074) approved the study

Study population. We obtained breast milk samples and placentas from a joint prospective, longitudinal cohort study performed 1997-2001 at Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland, and the National University Hospital (Rigshospitalet, Hvidovre Hospital), Copenhagen, Denmark. This binational study aimed at establishing contemporary prevalence rates for cryptorchidism and hypospadias and evaluating risk factors by means of questionnaires and biological samples (blood, placentas, breast milk). Exposure measurements were prospectively planned to include persistent and nonpersistent chemicals, some of which have been previously reported (Damgaard et al. 2006; Main et al. 2006a; Shen et al. 2005, 2006, 2007). Recruitment strategy, inclusion criteria, and clinical examination of the children (i.e., the identification of cryptorchidism) have been previously described (Boisen et al. 2004; Main et al. 2006b; Suomi et al. 2006) and were strictly standardized. Boys with normally descended testes, including retractile testes, were used as controls in this study under the terms "controls" or "healthy boys." Boys with undescended testes (nonpalpable, inguinal, suprascrotal, high scrotal), either uni- or bilaterally at birth, were included in the group of cryptorchid boys. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Flame Retardants in Placenta and Breast Milk and Cryptorchidism in Newborn Boys
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.