Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, PR China; Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (Incubating), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
Toxicological evidence indicates that exposure to drinking water trihalomethanes (THMs) can impair neural development. However, no epidemiologic study to date has evaluated the relation of trihalomethanes exposure with neonatal neurobehavioral development. Here we aimed to evaluate if prenatal exposure to THMs during early pregnancy is associated with neonatal neurobehavioral development in 451 Chinese mother-child pairs. First trimester blood THMs [chloroform (TCM), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane (DBCM), and bromoform (TBM)] were determined by solid phase micro-extraction gas chramatography. Neonatal neurobehavioral development was assessed using neonatal behavioral neurological assessment (NBNA) on the third day after birth. Multivariable linear regression models and restricted cubic spline models were constructed to evaluate the associations between blood THMs and neonatal neurological development scores. Blood concentrations of BDCM, whether modeled as continuous or categorical variables, were inversely associated with total NBNA score of newborns based on the multivariable linear regression. The association was further confirmed in the cubic spline model, and a linear dose-response relationship was observed. Stratified analysis showed that the inverse association between blood BDCM and total NBNA score was more evident in male infants than females. Our findings suggest that exposure to THMs during early pregnancy may be associated with impaired neonatal neurobehavioral development.