Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consumption of certain fish during pregnancy associated with poorer cognitive performance

13.11.2009
Children who eat fish more than 3 times per week show a worse performance in the general cognitive, executive and perceptual-manipulative areas. Those with higher levels of exposure to mercury show a generalised delay in cognitive, memory and verbal areas. Mercury is a contaminant found especially in oily fish and canned fish and to a lesser extent in white fish.

This conclusion emerges from research conducted at the University of Granada, which warns of the need to assess children's health risk according to fish consumption, distinguishing between varieties or species they consume, especially in those areas where fish is part of the staple diet of the population.

The work entitled "Children's exposure to environmental contaminants in Granada and potential effects on health" was carried out by Carmen Freire Warden, from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the UGR, and led by professors Nicolás Olea and Marieta Fernández Serrano Cabrera.

For this study, scientists analyzed the exposure to environmental contaminants through water, air and diet, in a sample of 220 children in the geographic health care area of San Cecilio University Hospital in Granada. This study has described for the first time the extent of childhood exposure to environmental pollutants of special concern, such as trihalomethanes, NO2, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and mercury. Following the hypotheses posed, this research assessed the combination of exposure to air pollution, on the one hand, and mercury, on the other, with child neurodevelopment at 4 years of age.

Mercury concentrations

Thus, total mercury concentrations found in the hair of 4 year-old-children from Granada were between 0.04 and 6.67 g / g. Concentrations were higher than those found in other paediatric populations with a lower consumption of fish, but lower than levels found in high consuming areas.

Important factors in this exposure were the place of residence, maternal age, passive exposure to tobacco smoke and consumption of oily fish. The results suggest that fish consumption is the main source of exposure to mercury in the sample population studied.

The work carried out at the University of Granada also suggests that in Granada, children's health risk from exposure to trihalomethanes via drinking water can be considered to be significantly lower than in other areas of the country, and that air pollutant NO2 concentrations (measured in the external environment of the study area) were also lower than those described in other Spanish cities. Traffic of motor vehicles is the main source of emission of these pollutants in the study area.

Moreover, the research also revealed that there is a direct relationship between children's passive exposure to tobacco smoke and the use of gas stoves inside houses, and the presence of 1-hydroxypyrene, an indicator of exposure to damaging health air pollutants.

Researchers warn that although environmental exposure levels found in children are low enough not to cause any obvious concern, they could have an impact on child development in the long-term, only appearing as symptoms many years after first exposure. Consequently, they explain, "whatever the extent of involvement of environmental exposures in the etiology of the disease, the simple fact of acting very early in life opens the door to a transcendental field in public health: the possibility of applying early prevention measures to minimize problems."

These research results were recently published in scientific journals such as Environmental Research, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Science of the Total Environment and Gaceta Sanitaria.

Reference: Carmen Freire Warden, Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine, University of Granada. Tel: (+34) 958 240 758. E-mail: cfreire@ugr.es

Carmen Freire Warden | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Speed data for the brain’s navigation system
06.12.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

06.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization

06.12.2016 | Life Sciences

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>