Associations between fetal and the first months of life exposure to environmental factors and long-term health and chronic diseases have been established. For more thorough investigation several big birth cohorts have been established worldwide. In Norway the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) has included pregnant women from 1999 to 2009 and in France The EDEN study included pregnant women from 2003 to 2006 and the Elfe cohort from 2011. Aim of the cohorts is to investigate factors that can cause or prevent diseases both early and later in life and by finding casual effects being able to take preventative steps.
One of the main sources of exposure to chemicals during fetal and early life is through food intake. Exposures to several contaminants present in food, like PCBs, perfluorinated compounds and acrylamide have been associated with growth in utero and/or during early postnatal life and impaired cognitive development. So far most evaluations have been performed with single contaminants however, studies that evaluate potential cumulative effects and interactions between multiple contaminants and have been called for in nutritional, toxicological and child health research fields. It is therefore necessary to also consider exposure to chemicals associated in mixtures. Furthermore, differential associations between prenatal and early postnatal exposure and postnatal outcomes have been described but rarely within the same study, preventing to study cumulative or opposing effects
The main objective of this project will be to explore different models for assessments of dietary exposure to mixtures of contaminants. For the MoBa dietary group this will be undertaken in collaboration with one research groups at Inserm, France. Both research groups are working with large cohort studies and both groups have experience with assessments of food contaminants.