Grandjean P, Hu H, Till C, Green R, Bashash M, Flora D, Tellez-Rojo MM, Song PXK, Lanphear B, Budtz-Jørgensen E - "A Benchmark Dose Analysis for Maternal Pregnancy Urine-Fluoride and IQ in Children" Risk Anal (2021 Jun 8) doi: 10.1111/risa.13767. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34101876
As a guide to establishing a safe exposure level for fluoride exposure in pregnancy, we applied benchmark dose modeling to data from two prospective birth cohort studies. We included mother-child pairs from the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) cohort in Mexico and the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) cohort in Canada. Maternal urinary fluoride concentrations (U-F, in mg/L, creatinine-adjusted) were measured in urine samples obtained during pregnancy. Children were assessed for intelligence quotient (IQ) at age 4 (n = 211) and between six and 12 years (n = 287) in the ELEMENT cohort, and three to four years (n = 407) in the MIREC cohort. We calculated covariate-adjusted regression coefficients and their standard errors to assess the association of maternal U-F concentrations with children's IQ measures. Assuming a benchmark response of 1 IQ point, we derived benchmark concentrations (BMCs) and benchmark concentration levels (BMCLs). No deviation from linearity was detected in the dose-response relationships, but boys showed lower BMC values than girls. Using a linear slope for the joint cohort data, the BMC for maternal U-F associated with a 1-point decrease in IQ scores was 0.31 mg/L (BMCL, 0.19 mg/L) for the youngest boys and girls in the two cohorts, and 0.33 mg/L (BMCL, 0.20 mg/L) for the MIREC cohort and the older ELEMENT children. Thus, the joint data show a BMCL in terms of the adjusted U-F concentrations in the pregnant women of approximately 0.2 mg/L. These results can be used to guide decisions on preventing excess fluoride exposure in pregnant women.
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