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Data from: A cross sectional study of the relationship between the exposure of pregnant women to military attacks in 2014 in Gaza and the load of heavy metal contaminants in the hair of mothers and newborns

Citation

Manduca, Paola et al. (2017), Data from: A cross sectional study of the relationship between the exposure of pregnant women to military attacks in 2014 in Gaza and the load of heavy metal contaminants in the hair of mothers and newborns, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kr846

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Metal contamination of humans in wars areas was rarely investigated. Weaponry’s heavy-metals become environmentally stable war-remnants and accumulate in livings. They pose health risks also by prenatal intake and potential long-term risks for reproductive and children’s health. We studied the contribution by military attacks to the load of 23 metals in the hair of Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip, pregnant at the time of military attacks in 2014, and their newborns. We compared the metal load in the mothers with values of adult hair from outside war area (RHS), as reference. We investigated heavy metals trans-passing in utero and assessed if risky heavy metals intake could come from not war-related sources. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Random cohort of 502 mothers delivering in the Gaza Strip and their newborns. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURED: Measure of the load of heavy-metals in mother and newborn hair by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS). Comparison of metal load with RHS, between groups with different exposures to attacks and house/agriculture chemicals, and between mothers and newborns. Data for birth registry and for exposures to war and other known risk factors were obtained at interviews with mothers. Photo documentation of damage from military attacks. RESULTS: The whole cohort had significantly higher load of heavy metals than RHS. Women exposed to military attacks had significantly higher load of heavy metals than those not exposed; the load in newborns correlated positively with mothers’; no significant difference was found between users/not users of house/agriculture chemicals; no other known confounder was identified. CONCLUSIONS: High heavy-metals loads in mothers, reflected in those of their newborns, are associated with exposure to military attacks posing risk of immediate and long-term negative outcomes for pregnancy and child health. Surveillance, biomonitoring and further research are recommended. Implications for general and public health are discussed.

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