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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 629716, 11 pages
Research Article

Developmental Effects of Exposures to Environmental Factors: The Polish Mother and Child Cohort Study

1Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Teresy Street, 91-348 Lodz, Poland
2Department of Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Teresy Street, 91-348 Lodz, Poland
3Department of Chemical Safety, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Teresy Street, 91-348 Lodz, Poland
4The Foundation for Children from Copper Basin, 10 Okrzei Street, 59-220 Legnica, Poland
5Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway

Received 22 April 2013; Accepted 25 August 2013

Academic Editor: Anna Karakatsani

Copyright © 2013 Kinga Polanska et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper estimates the effects of exposure to environmental factors, including lead, mercury, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), on child psychomotor development. The study population consists of mother-child pairs in the Polish Mother and Child Cohort Study. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to environmental factors was determined from biomarker measurements as follows: for lead exposure—cord blood lead level, for mercury—maternal hair mercury level, for ETS—cotinine level in saliva and urine, and for PAH—1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP) in urine. At the age of 12 (406 subjects) and 24 months (198 subjects) children were assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. There were no statistically significant effects of prenatal exposure to mercury or 1-HP on child psychomotor development. After adjusting for potential confounders, adverse effects of prenatal exposure to ETS on motor development (β = −2.6; ) and postnatal exposure to ETS on cognitive (β = −0.2; ) and motor functions (β = −0.5; ) were found. The adverse effect of prenatal lead exposure on cognitive score was of borderline significance (β = −6.2; ). The study underscores the importance of policies and public health interventions that aim to reduce prenatal and postnatal exposure to lead and ETS.