TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to several chemicals before and after birth appears to be associated with a decrease in lung function later in childhood, according to a study published in the February issue of The Lancet Planetary Health.

Lydiane Agier, Ph.D., from University Grenoble Alpes in France, and colleagues used data from 1,033 mother-child pairs participating in the European Human Early-Life Exposome cohort (children born between 2003 and 2009). Lung function was measured by spirometry in children at age 6 to 12 years, and 85 prenatal and 125 postnatal exposures (outdoor, indoor, chemical, and lifestyle factors) were assessed.

The researchers found that in the exposome-wide association study (ExWAS), prenatal perfluorononanoate and perfluorooctanoate exposures were associated with lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second percent predicted values (FEV1%). Inverse distance to nearest road during pregnancy was associated with higher FEV1%. In addition, FEV1% was tied to nine postnatal exposures: copper, ethyl-paraben, five phthalate metabolites (mono-2-ethyl 5-carboxypentyl phthalate, mono-2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl phthalate, mono-2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl phthalate, mono-4-methyl-7-oxooctyl phthalate, and the sum of di-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites), house crowding, and facility density around schools. However, after correction for multiple testing in ExWAS, no exposure passed the significance threshold.

“Reducing exposure to these ubiquitous chemicals could help to prevent the development of chronic respiratory disease,” the authors write.

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