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Title: The Danish contribution to the European DEMOCOPHES project: A description of cadmium, cotinine and mercury levels in Danish mother-child pairs and the perspectives of supplementary sampling and measurements

Human biomonitoring (HBM) is an important tool, increasingly used for measuring true levels of the body burdens of environmental chemicals in the general population. In Europe, a harmonized HBM program was needed to open the possibility to compare levels across borders. To explore the prospect of a harmonized European HBM project, DEMOCOPHES (DEMOnstration of a study to COordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale) was completed in 17 European countries. The basic measurements performed in all implemented countries of DEMOCOPHES included cadmium, cotinine and phthalate metabolites in urine and mercury in hair. In the Danish participants, significant correlations between mothers and children for mercury in hair and cotinine in urine were found. Mercury in hair was further significantly associated with intake of fish and area of residence. Cadmium was positively associated with BMI in mothers and an association between cadmium and cotinine was also found. As expected high cotinine levels were found in smoking mothers. For both mercury and cadmium significantly higher concentrations were found in the mothers compared to their children. In Denmark, the DEMOCOPHES project was co-financed by the Danish ministries of health, environment and food safety. The co-financing ministries agreed to finance a number ofmore » supplementary measurements of substances of current toxicological, public and regulatory interest. This also included blood sampling from the participants. The collected urine and blood samples were analyzed for a range of other persistent and non-persistent environmental chemicals as well as two biomarkers of effect. The variety of supplementary measurements gives the researchers further information on the exposure status of the participants and creates a basis for valuable knowledge on the pattern of exposure to various chemicals. - Highlights: • Levels of cadmium, mercury and cotinine in the Danish subpopulation are comparable to levels in the total DEMOCOPHES population with mercury in hair above the European median. • Supplementary sample collection and measurements in Denmark gave valuable exposure information on a variety of other chemicals of current toxicological, public and regulatory interest, such as persistent organic pollutants. • It is highly valuable to obtain as much exposure information as possible once you have established the study cohort.« less
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  1. Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  2. Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (Denmark)
  3. The Research Unit for General Practice and Section of General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  4. Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Denmark)
  5. Department of Growth and Reproduction, University Hospital, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  6. Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Brussels (Belgium)
  7. University of Leuven, Leuven (Belgium)
  8. Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Berlin (Germany)
  9. Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Majadahonda, Madrid (Spain)
  10. Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research; Journal Volume: 141; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States