Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2000;26(3):207-212    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.533

Medical and psychometric examinations of conscripts born to mothers with a high intake of fish contaminated with persistent organochlorines

by Rylander L, Hagmar L

Objectives The present study aimed to investigate whether boys who had been pre- and postnatally exposed to persistent organochlorine compounds through the consumption of contaminated fatty fish from the Baltic Sea (on the east coast of Sweden) had medical or psychometric impairments in the compulsory conscript examination at 18 years of age.

Methods Boys born in 1973 to 1975 to fishermen's wives and fishermen's sisters from the Swedish east coast were examined at 18 years of age. For relevant comparisons a corresponding group from the Swedish west coast, where the fish are less contaminated, were used. In addition, comparisons were made with expected values based on conscript examination data for the general population in the same geographic areas.

Results The boys in the 2 cohorts did not, during the conscript testing, significantly differ in the results of the psychometric tests. On the other hand, the boys from the eastcoast cohort were somewhat shorter and had more visual and hearing impairments than the boys from the west coast. However, the eastcoast boys did not differ from the regional reference population with respect to visual and hearing ability.

Conclusion Although no individual exposure data were available, the present results do not support any harmful long-term impact of pre- and postnatal exposure to persistent organochlorine compounds from mothers' fish consumption on the psychometric functions of boys in their conscript examinations.