Arsenic is a public health concern because of its widespread distribution and high toxicity, even when doses are small. Low birth weight (LBW) occurrence, birth weights less than 2500 g, may be associated with prenatal exposure of arsenic from environmental factors and consuming contaminated drinking water and food. The objective of this study was to examine whether mothers living in areas of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties with varying levels of background arsenic in surface soil and water were associated with the occurrence of LBW. Inverse distance weight in ArcGIS was used to interpolate arsenic concentrations from environmental samples and estimate arsenic concentrations by census tracts in the two counties. After excluding multiple births and displaced geocoding addresses, birth data were obtained for the years of 2005 (n = 5845), 2010 (n = 5569), and 2015 (n = 5770) from the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Florida Department of Health to assess temporal differences. Generalized linear models were used to analyze and compare the association between child and maternal demographic information, socioeconomic characteristics, and the environmental estimates of arsenic with LBW. No significant association was found between environmental arsenic concentration and LBW, suggesting that environmental contamination of the pregnant mother’s census tract may not be a useful proxy in assessing risk for LBW.
- environmental health
- low birth weight
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law