Latent childhood exposure to mixtures of metals and neurodevelopmental outcomes in 4–5-year-old children living in Spain

L. Notario-Barandiaran, S. Díaz-Coto, N. Jimenez-Redondo, M. Guxens, M. Vrijheid, A. Andiarena, A. Irizar, I. Riaño-Galan, A. Fernández-Somoano, S. Llop, M. Lozano, M. R. Karagas, A. Meharg, M. Carey, C. Meharg, K. Ralphs, C. McCreanor, J. Vioque, P. Martinez-Camblor, A. J. Signes-Pastor*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Neurodevelopmental disorders are increasing globally, and metal exposure may play a significant role as an environmental factor. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify metal mixture patterns and assess their impact on children’s neurodevelopment. Data from 962 children (aged 4–5 years) participating in the Spanish INMA cohort study were analysed. Urinary metal concentrations (cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), selenium (Se), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), and arsenic speciation) were used as exposure biomarkers. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed four latent exposure variables representing uncorrelated metal mixture patterns. Linear regression analyses examined the associations between these variables and children’s neuropsychological functions assessed through the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities. The first latent exposure variable (Cu, Se, Pb, Zn) and the second (inorganic arsenic, monomethylarsonic acid) showed negative associations with verbal executive function (ß = − 1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) = − 3.17 to − 0.59) and gross motor function (ß = − 1.41, 95% CI = − 2.36 to − 0.46), respectively. Conversely, the third variable (Mo, Co) and the fourth (arsenobetaine) exhibited positive associations with visual and verbal span functions (ß = 1.14, 95% CI = 0.16 to 2.12) and fine motor function (ß = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.11 to 1.92), respectively. This study suggests that even relatively low levels of metal latent exposures, notably inorganic arsenic and a mixture of metals including Pb, adversely affect children’s neuropsychological development function scores, while exposure to arsenobetaine and a mixture of Co and Mo has a positive impact.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExposure and Health
Early online date31 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. This study was funded by CIDEGENT/2020/050; by grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III: Red INMA G03/176; CB06/02/0041; PI041436; PI081151, PI11/01007, PI07/0314, PI04/2018, PI09/02311, PI13/02429, PI18/00909 co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), “A way to make Europe”/“Investing in your future”; Fundación Cajastur, and Universidad de Oviedo.; FIS-FEDER: 13/1944, 16/1288, 19/1338; ISGlobal acknowledges support from the grant CEX2018-000806-S funded by MCIN/AEI/ https://doi.org/10.13039/501100011033 , and support from the Generalitat de Catalunya through the CERCA Program; Miguel Servet-FSE: MS15/0025, MS20/0006, H2020-EU No 874583 (ATHLETE project), Generalitat Valenciana (CIAICO/2021/132, BEST/2020/059 and AICO 2020/285. Ministry of Universities (CAS21/00008, NextGenerationEU). Generalitat de Catalunya-CIRIT 1999SGR 00241, Fundació La marató de TV3 (090430). We acknowledge support from the grant CEX2018-000806-S funded by MCIN/AEI/ https://doi.org/10.13039/501100011033 , and support from the Generalitat de Catalunya through the CERCA Program. Mònica Guxens is funded by a Miguel Servet II fellowship (CPII18/00018) awarded by the Spanish Institute of Health Carlos III.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Biomarkers of exposure
  • Children's environmental health
  • Heavy metals
  • Mixture
  • Neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • Neuropsychological functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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