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Leefmilieu-Gezondheid België


Research results

The summary of the DEMOCOPHES results in Europe is available.
Two summaries of the DEMOCOPHES results in Belgium are available. The first is in French or in Dutch, the second is in English
The average age of the mother was 40 and the children's was 8. The questionnaire revealed that 30% of the mothers and 20% of the children consumed fish several times a week. Half the children ate at the canteen. The large majority (80%) of the mothers as well as 5% of the children had dental fillings. Most mothers used cosmetics (make up, shampoo, hair care products, deodorants, perfume) in a range varying from often to moderately often. Half the mothers (52%) declared that they had refurbished or renovated the house during the last couple of years.
The presence of the Bisphenol A plastic component in urine was common to the mothers and their children. However, the content of most pollutants was higher among the mothers: mercury in hair, cadmium in urine, triclosan and diethyl phtalate (DEP) measured in the urine. The reason is that, on the one hand, heavy metals accumulate over the years and, on the other hand, the mothers used more cosmetics than the children. The latter may contain triclosan and/or phtalates. Then, the contents of all other phtalates measured were higher among the children than among the adults (the markers of DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phtalate), BBzP (butylbenzyl phthalate), DiBP (Diisobutyl phthalate) and DnBP (di-n-butyl phtalate)).
Fish eating and dental fillings had an influence on the quantity of mercury measured in the mother's hair. In the rural area, we have measured more cadmium in the urine of the mother as well as in that of the child, triclosan among the mothers and mercury in the children's hair. Higher contents of cotinine (the degradation product of nicotine) were measured in the urine of the mothers who smoked and among children exposed to cigarette smoke. Bisphenol A was more present among mothers who often ate canned food. The degradation products of the phtalates BBzP, DiBP and DnBP in the urine increase when vinyl floor coatings or wall paper is present in the house. The marker for phtalate DEP (diethyl phtalate) showed a link with playing with toys, with having a PVC floor coating or wallpaper and with having the house refurbished but also with the consumption of canteen food by the mother and the use of chewing gum by the children.