Prenatal and postnatal serum PCB concentrations and cochlear function in children at 45 months of age

Todd A. Jusko, Renata Sisto, Ana-Maria Iosif, Arturo Moleti, Soňa Wimmerová, Kinga Lancz, Juraj Tihányi, Eva Šovčíková, Beata Drobná, L’ubica Palkovičová, Dana Jurečková, Kelly Thevenet-Morrison, Marc André Verner, Dean Sonneborn, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Tomáš Trnovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Results: Maternal and cord PCB-153 concentrations were not associated with DPOAEs at 45 months. Higher postnatal PCB concentrations at 6-, 16-, and 45-months of age were associated with lower (poorer) DPOAE amplitudes. When all postnatal PCB exposures were considered as an area-under-the-curve metric, an increase in PCB-153 concentration from the 25th to the 75th percentile was associated with a 1.6‑dB SPL (sound pressure level) decrease in DPOAE amplitude (95% CI: -2.6, -0.5; p = 0.003).

Conclusions: In this study, postnatal rather than maternal or cord PCB concentrations were associated with poorer performance on otoacoustic tests at age 45 months.

Background: Some experimental and human data suggest that exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may induce ototoxicity, though results of previous epidemiologic studies are mixed and generally focus on either prenatal or postnatal PCB concentrations exclusively. Objectives: Our aim was to evaluate the association between pre- and postnatal PCB concentrations in relation to cochlear status, assessed by distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), and to further clarify the critical periods in development where cochlear status may be most susceptible to PCBs.

Methods: A total of 351 children from a birth cohort in eastern Slovakia underwent otoacoustic testing at 45 months of age. Maternal pregnancy, cord, and child 6-, 16-, and 45-month blood samples were collected and analyzed for PCB concentrations. At 45 months of age, DPOAEs were assessed at 11 frequencies in both ears. Multivariate, generalized linear models were used to estimate the associations between PCB concentrations at different ages and DPOAEs, adjusting for potential confounders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1246-1252
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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