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Organophosphate pesticide exposure and other chemical mixtures in association with ultrasound and delivery measures of fetal growth Seminar
Dr. Kelly Ferguson earned her M.P.H. in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She joined the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch as a Tenure-Track Investigator in 2016. Her research group studies how maternal exposure to chemicals impacts pregnancy and the development of the fetus and child. They also investigate biological mechanisms of action — such as inflammation, oxidative stress, and endocrine disruption — that connect chemical exposures to adverse birth outcomes.
Lecture: Organophosphate pesticide exposure and other chemical mixtures in association with ultrasound and delivery measures of fetal growth
Perturbations in fetal growth may have adverse consequences for childhood and later life health. Organophosphate pesticide (OP) exposure has been associated with reduced birth weight at delivery but results are not consistent. Using data from the Generation R birth cohort, we investigated this question by utilizing ultrasound measures of size in utero in combination with measures from delivery. In addition to single pollutant analyses, we examined the cumulative effect of exposure to OP pesticides, phthalates, and bisphenols in pregnancy on fetal growth using a novel statistical approach, quantile g computation. In single pollutant analyses, we observed associations between average levels of OP metabolites over pregnancy and decreases in fetal length and weight in mid-pregnancy. In our mixtures analysis, we observed non-linear associations between increasing quartiles of cumulative exposure and decreases in weight measured by ultrasound during pregnancy as well as at delivery. These findings have implications for windows of vulnerability to OPs and other chemical exposures during gestation.