Health Effects of PCB Exposure from Contaminated Fish
Principal Investigator: Susan Schantz
Affiliation: University of Illinois
Abstract: The overall goal of the proposed research is to evaluate neuropsychological outcomes in Asian Americans exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methyl mercury (MeHg) via consumption of fish from polluted waters in northeastern Wisconsin. This research will expand our Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)-funded study of neuropsychological function in adults from this population to include similar evaluations in their adolescent children. The entire project is designed to synergize with our National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (NIEHS/USEPA)-funded Children's Environmental Health Center, which focuses on understanding the neuropsychological effects of combined exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methyl mercury (MeHg). The Center includes research in animal models and humans. The centerpiece project involves recruitment of reproductive age Hmong and Laotian couples in Green Bay and Appleton, Wisconsin for a prospective study that will follow babies born to them during the study period longitudinally from birth to assess neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with prenatal exposure to these contaminants. Our current award from Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has allowed us to build on this initial study design by including neuropsychological assessments of the reproductive-age couples in our sample. Continued funding will allow us to take this a step further to a "lifespan" perspective, assessing the impact of these contaminants on neuropsychological function in infants (through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (NIEHS/USEPA) funding) and older children and adults from the same families (through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) funding). Adolescents aged 14-16 who are the children of couples participating in our study will be assessed on a battery of tests of cognitive function, including many of the same tests currently being used to assess the adults in the sample. Blood samples will be collected for contaminant analysis. The study will help us to understand the risks from exposure to these chemicals in individuals of different ages (infants, adolescents, and adults) within families, as well as the similarities and differences in the profile of neuropsychological effects at these three stages of development.
Funding Period: 2004-09-01 - 2007-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT