Environmental exposure to organochlorine pesticides and deficits in cochlear status in children

Renata Sisto, Arturo Moleti, Ľubica Palkovičová Murínová, Soňa Wimmerová, Kinga Lancz, Juraj Tihányi, Kamil Čonka, Eva Šovčíková, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Todd A. Jusko, Tomáš Trnovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (p,p′-DDT) and its metabolite 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p′- DDE) are ototoxic to humans. A multivariate general linear model was designed, in which the statistical relation between blood serum concentrations of HCB, β-HCH, p,p′-DDT, or p,p′-DDE at different ages (at birth, 6, 16, and 45 months) and the distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) was treated as multivariate outcome variables. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and OCPs were strongly correlated in serum of children from our cohort. To ascertain that the association between DPOAEs at a given frequency and concentration of a pesticide is not influenced by PCBs or other OCP also present in serum, we calculated benchmark concentrations (BMCs) relating DPOAEs to a serum pesticide alone and in presence of confounding PCB-153 or other OCPs. We found that BMCs relating DPOAEs to serum pesticides are not affected by confounders. DPOAE amplitudes were associated with serum OCPs at all investigated time intervals, however, in a positive way with prenatal exposure and in a negative way with all postnatal exposures. We observed tonotopicity in the association of pesticides with amplitude of DPOAEs as its strength was frequency dependent. We conclude that exposure to OCPs in infancy at environmental concentrations may be associated with hearing deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14570-14578
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 21 2015


  • Hearing impairment
  • Infancy
  • Mixture effects
  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Otoacoustic emissions
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pollution


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