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Original research
Characteristics of exposure to 10 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites among pregnant women: cohort of pregnant women in Zunyi, southwest China
  1. Yingkuan Tian1,
  2. Renjuan Zhang1,
  3. Xiang Liu1,
  4. Yijun Liu1,
  5. Shimin Xiong1,
  6. Xia Wang1,
  7. Haonan Zhang1,
  8. Quan Li2,
  9. Juan Liao2,
  10. Derong Fang2,
  11. Linglu Wang3,
  12. Ya Zhang4,
  13. Hongyu Yuan5,
  14. Li Zhang6,
  15. Caidie He1,
  16. Songlin An1,
  17. Wei Chen1,
  18. Yuanzhong Zhou1,
  19. Xubo Shen1
  1. 1School of Public Health, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  2. 2Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  3. 3The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  4. 4Xishui County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  5. 5Xishui County People’s Hospital, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  6. 6Meitan County People’s Hospital, Zunyi, Guizhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yuanzhong Zhou, School of Public Health, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China; zhouyuanzhong{at}163.com; Mrs Xubo Shen, School of Public Health, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China; zy96_shenxubo{at}163.com

Abstract

Objective Our aim was to elucidate the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolites exposure levels of pregnant women in the underdeveloped region of Zunyi, southwest China.

Methods Sociodemographic information was collected via questionnaires, and urine samples were collected at the same time. A total of 3047 pregnant women participated in the study. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry was used to detect the urine concentrations of 10 PAH metabolites. A generalised linear model (GLM) was used to identify predictive factors of PAH metabolites.

Results All PAH metabolites had a detection rate greater than 60% (67.21%–90.57%) except for 4-OH-PHE at 55.54%. The median concentrations were 0.02–0.11 µg/g Cre except for 1-OH-NAP, 2-OH-NAP, 2-OH-FLU and 9-OH-FLU (0.36–0.50 µg/g Cre). The cluster analysis identified the phenanthrene and fluorene metabolite clusters (containing no other metabolites), while naphthalene metabolites (1-OH-NAP, 2-OH-NAP) could not be clustered without other metabolites. GLM analysis identified that pregnant women with the following characteristics have high urinary concentration of PAH metabolites: overweight, in the last trimester of pregnancy, distance between their house and main traffic lines as <5 m, use fuel for cooking, passive smoking, renovated their residence for less than 3 years, middle family income and office workers.

Conclusion The results clarified pregnant women from the economically underdeveloped area could be the victims of PAHs. In addition, PAHs present a demographic and seasonal differential distribution, which will aid in the development of targeted interventions and reduce exposure to PAHs during pregnancy.

  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • pregnancy outcome
  • air pollution
  • epidemiology

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors YT and RZ: formal analysis, methodology, validation, data curation, writing-original draft. YL and SX: data curation, validation. XW and HZ: methodology, validation. SA, CH, WC, XL: investigation, conceptualisation. DF, JL, LW, YZha, HY and LZ: investigation, data curation. QL: project administration, investigation, validation, resources. XS and YZho: project administration, investigation, validation, resources, writing–review and editing, funding acquisition. XS is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1004300, 2018YFC1004302) and Science & Technology Program of Guizhou Province, China (QKHHBZ (2020)3002).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.