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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ARAGONES, Nuria et al. Biomonitoring of exposure to environmental pollutants in newborns and their parents in Madrid, Spain (BioMadrid): study design and field work results. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.5, pp.483-491. ISSN 0213-9111.

In Spain environmental surveillance has mainly relied on measures of selected pollutants in air, water, food and soil. A study was conducted in Madrid to assess the feasibility of implementing a surveillance system of exposure among the general population to specific environmental pollutants, using bio-markers. The project was basically focused on the environment surrounding newborns. Hence, the study population was made up of 145 triplets of pregnant women at around 8 months' gestation, their partners, and newborns from two areas, representing the two main types of urban environments in the region, i.e., the City of Madrid and its outlying metropolitan belt. Multiple biologic substrates were collected from each participant in order to assess the most suitable samples for an environmental surveillance system. The selected contaminants represent the main agents to which a population like that of Madrid is exposed every day, including certain heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as micronuclei in peripheral blood, a commonly used unspecific index of cytogenetic damage. In addition, passive air samplers were placed around subjects' place of residence. This paper reports in detail on the design and response rates, summarizes field work results, and discusses some lessons learned.

Keywords : Study design; Environmental biomonitoring; Exposure assessment; Childhood; Adults.

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