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Prenatal exposure to glycol ethers and visual contrast sensitivity in 6-year-old children in the PELAGIE mother-child cohort

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Maternal occupational exposure to organic solvents during pregnancy has been associated with decreased visual function in offspring. Glycol ethers (GEs) belong to oxygenated solvents and are widely used both in occupational and domestic contexts. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess associations between prenatal GEs exposure and contrast sensitivity in children. METHODS: Six GE alkoxy carboxylic acidic metabolites (methoxyacetic acid [MAA], ethoxyacetic acid [EAA], ethoxyethoxyacetic acid [EEAA], butoxyacetic acid [BAA], phenoxyacetic acid [PhAA], and 2-methoxypropionic acid [2-MPA]) were measured in first morning void urine samples collected from 220 early-pregnancy women, in the mother-child PELAGIE cohort (France). Trained investigators administered the Functional Acuity Contrast Test (FACT) to the 6-year-old children, providing scores for 5 spatial frequencies (1.5-18 cycles per degree (cpd)). We standardized biomarker urinary concentrations on urine sampling conditions. Values below the LOD were imputed based on log-normal distribution, generating five datasets for multiple imputation. Linear regression models were adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS: GE metabolites were detected in 70-98% of maternal urine samples. Phenoxyacetic acid (PhAA) had the highest median concentration (0.33 mg/L), and 2-methoxypropionic acid (2-MPA) the lowest (0.01 mg/L). Children with higher prenatal PhAA concentrations had poorer FACT scores at various spatial frequencies (fourth vs. first quartile: β(18cpd) = -0.90 (95% confidence interval CI = -1.64, -0.16), β(12cpd) = -0.92 (95%CI = -1.55, -0.29) and β(1.5cpd) = -0.69 (95%CI = -1.19, -0.20)). The 2-MPA log-scale concentration was negatively associated with the FACT score at the 3-cpd stimulus. DISCUSSION: PhAA is the metabolite of ethylene glycol monophenyl ether present in many cosmetics. 2-MPA is the metabolite of an isomer of propylene glycol methyl ether commonly present in household and industrial cleaning products. Although evidence of biological plausibility is lacking, the study suggests adverse impact of ubiquitous prenatal exposure to some GE on visual functioning among children.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 3:06:34 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 2:40:18 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 7:20:23 PM



Hélène Tillaut, Ronan Garlantézec, Charline Warembourg, Christine Monfort, Florent Le Gleau, et al.. Prenatal exposure to glycol ethers and visual contrast sensitivity in 6-year-old children in the PELAGIE mother-child cohort. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Elsevier, 2021, 231, pp.113635. ⟨10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113635⟩. ⟨hal-03001708⟩



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