Maternal, neonatal and socio-economic factors associated with intellectual development among children from a coal mining region in Brazil

Abstract

Coal is the most aggressive energy sources in the environment. Several adverse outcomes on children’s health exposure to coal pollutants have been reported. Pollutants from coal power plants adversely affect the intellectual development and capacity. The present study aimed to evaluate the intellectual development and associated factors among children living a city under the direct influence (DI) and six neighboring municipalities under the indirect influence (II) of coal mining activity in the largest coal reserve of Brazil. A structured questionnaire was completed by the child’s guardian, and Raven's Progressive Color Matrices were administered to each child to assess intellectual development. A total of 778 children participated. In general, no significant difference was observed between the two cities. The DI city had better socioeconomic conditions than the II municipalities according to family income (< 0.001). The prevalence of children who were intellectually below average or with intellectual disabilities was 22.9%, and there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between municipalities. In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, intellectual development was associated with maternal age, marital situation and maternal education level, birth weight, breast feeding, frequent children's daycare, paternal participation in children’s care and child growth. Living in the DI area was not associated with intellectual disability. The results suggest that socioeconomic conditions and maternal and neonatal outcomes are more important than environmental factors for intellectual development of children living in a coal mining area.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

References

  1. Ahern, M., Hendryx, M., Conley, J., et al. (2011a). The association between mountaintop mining and birth defects among live births in central Appalachia, 1996–2003. Environmental Research, 111, 838–846. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2011.05.019.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ahern, M., Mullett, M., MacKay, K., & Hamilton, C. (2011b). Residence in coal-mining areas and low-birth-weight outcomes. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15, 974–979. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-009-0555-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Alwis D De, Tandon M, Tillman R, Luby J (2015) HHS Public Access

  4. Amster E, Levy CL (2019) Impact of Coal-fired Power Plant Emissions on Children’s Health: A Systematic Review of the Epidemiological Literature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 1–11

  5. Andrade, S. A., Santos, D. N., Bastos, A. C., et al. (2005). Family environment and child’s cognitive development: An epidemiological approach. Revista de Saude Publica, 39, 4–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bandeira, D. R., Alves, I. C., Giacomel, A. E., et al. (2004). The raven’s coloured progressive matrices: Norms for Porto Alegre, RS. Psicol Estud, 9, 479–486.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bear, L. M. (2004). Early identification of infants at risk for developmental disabilities. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 51, 685–701. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2004.01.015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Belfort MB, Rifas-shiman SL, Kleinman KP, et al (2014) NIH Public Access. 167:836–844. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.455.Infant

  9. Bigliardi, A. P., Fernandes, C. L. F., Pinto, E. A., et al. (2020). Blood markers among residents from a coal mining area. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10400-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Boucher, O., Jacobson, S. W., Plusquellec, P., et al. (2012). Prenatal Methylmercury, Postnatal Lead Exposure, and Evidence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder among Inuit Children in Arctic Québec. Environmental Health Perspectives, 1456, 1456–1461.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cachapuz, R. F., Especialista, C. U., Halpern, R., et al. (2006). Influência das variáveis ambientais no desenvolvimento da linguagem em uma amostra de crianças. Rev Assoc Med Rio Grande Do Sul, 50, 292–301.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Cardoso, L. M., Lopes, É. I. X., de Oliveira, J. C., & Braga, A. P. (2017). Análise da Produção Científica Brasileira sobre o Teste das Matrizes Progressivas de Raven. Psicol Ciência e Profissão, 37, 62–77. https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-3703000212015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Chen, Y., Shah, N., Huggins, F. E., et al. (2004). Investigation of primary fine particulate matter from coal combustion by computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy. Fuel Processing Technology, 85, 743–761. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuproc.2003.11.017.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. CONAMA (2018) Resolução no 491/18 de 18 de novembro de 2018. 7

  15. Cortes-Ramirez, J., Naish, S., Sly, P. D., & Jagals, P. (2018). Mortality and morbidity in populations in the vicinity of coal mining: A systematic review. BMC Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5505-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cortés AS, Yohannessen VK, Tellerías LC, Ahumada EP (2019) Exposición a contaminantes provenientes de termoeléctricas a carbón y salud infantil: ¿ Cuál es la evidencia internacional y nacional? Revista Chilena de Pediatría 90:102–114. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.32641/rchped.v90i1.748

  17. Ćujić, M., Dragović, S., Dordević, M., et al. (2016). Environmental assessment of heavy metals around the largest coal fired power plant in Serbia. CATENA, 139, 44–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2015.12.001.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. da Silva Júnior, F. M. R., Ramires, P. F., dos Santos, M., et al. (2019). Distribution of potentially harmful elements in soils around a large coal-fired power plant. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 41, 2131–2143. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-019-00267-w.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. da Silva Júnior, F. M. R., Tavella, R. A., Fernandes, C. L. F., et al. (2018). Genotoxicity in Brazilian coal miners and its associated factors. Human and Experimental Toxicology, 37, 891–900. https://doi.org/10.1177/0960327117745692.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Da Silva Júnior, F. M. R., Honscha, L. C., Brum, R. D. L., Ramires, P. F., Tavella, R. A., Fernandes, C. L. F., et al. (2020). Air quality in cities of the extreme south of Brazil. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Contamination, 15(1), 61–67. https://doi.org/10.5132/eec.2020.01.08.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. De, O. M., & Branca, F. (2016). Childhood stunting: A global perspective. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12, 12–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. dos Santos, M., Flores Soares, M. C., Martins Baisch, P. R., et al. (2018). Biomonitoring of trace elements in urine samples of children from a coal-mining region. Chemosphere, 197, 622–626. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.01.082.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Dupont-Soares M, Muccillo-Baisch AL, Roberto P, et al (2015) Intellectual capacity of children exposed to environmental pollution in the extreme South of Brazil. Journal of Health Science 3:183–195. https://doi.org/10.17265/2328-7136/2015.04.007

  24. Emerson, E. (2012). Deprivation, ethnicity and the prevalence of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Epidemiol Community Heal, 66, 218–224. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.2010.111773.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. El, M. H., Schmidt, M. N., Franken, I. H. A., et al. (2013). Prenatal tobacco exposure and brain morphology: A prospective study in young children. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39, 792–800. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2013.273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Emerson, E., Hatton, C., Robertson, J., & Baines, S. (2016). Exposure to second hand tobacco smoke at home and child smoking at age 11 among British children with and without intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 3, 274–281. https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12247.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Emerson, E., Robertson, J., Hatton, C., & Baines, S. (2018). Risk of exposure to air pollution among British children with and without intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12561.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Energy Information Administration (2020) Annual Coal Distribution Archive: Coal production, Brazil, Annual. In: Dep. Energy; Washingt. DC

  29. EPA Agency Environmental Protection (2016) National Emissions Inventory

  30. Fonseca, A. L. M., Albernaz, E. P., Kaufmann, C. C., et al. (2013). Impact of breastfeeding on the intelligence quotient of eight-year-old children. Jornal de Pediatria., 89, 346–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Goharpey, N., Crewther, D. P., & Crewther, S. G. (2013). Research in Developmental Disabilities Problem solving ability in children with intellectual disability as measured by the Raven ’ s Colored Progressive Matrices. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 4366–4374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2013.09.013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Gorriz, A., Llacuna, S., & Nadal, M. R. J. (2002). Effects of Air Pollution on Hematological and Plasma Parameters in Apodemus sylvaticus and Mus musculus. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002449900091.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Ha, S., Hu, H., Roth, J., et al. (2015). Associations between residential proximity to power plants and adverse birth outcomes. American Journal of Epidemiology, 182, 215–224. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwv042.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Harding, J. F. (2015). Increases in Maternal Education and Low-Income Children’s Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes. Developmental Psychology, 51, 583–599.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Huang, J., Zhu, T., Qu, Y., & Mu, D. (2016). Prenatal Perinatal and Neonatal Risk Factors for Intellectual Disability: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153655.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Inoue, Y., Umezaki, M., Jiang, H., et al. (2014). Urinary concentrations of toxic and essential trace elements among rural residents in Hainan Island China. International Journal Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213047.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Kalia, V., Perera, F., & Tang, D. (2017). Environmental pollutants and neurodevelopment: Review of benefits from closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang. Global Pediatric Health. https://doi.org/10.1177/2333794X17721609.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Kramer, M., & Kakuma, R. (2012). Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003517.pub2.www.cochranelibrary.com.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Kravchenko, J., & Lyerly, H. K. (2018). The Impact of coal-powered electrical plants and coal Ash impoundments on the health of residential communities. North Carolina Medical Journal, 79, 289–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Kwinta, P., Klimek, M., Grudzień, A., et al. (2012). Intellectual and motor development of extremely low birth weight (≤1000 g) children in the 7th year of life; a multicenter, cross-sectional study of children born in the Malopolska voivodship between 2002 and 2004. Medycyna Wieku Rozwojowego, 16, 222–231.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Lamm, S. H., Li, J., Robbins, S. A., et al. (2015). Are residents of mountain-top mining counties more likely to have infants with birth defects? The west virginia experience. Birth Defects Res Part A - Clin Mol Teratol, 103, 76–84. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdra.23322.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Landrigan, P. J., Fuller, R., Acosta, N. J. R., et al. (2018). The lancet commission on pollution and health. The Lancet, 391, 461–512. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Lima-Costa, M. F., Barreto, S. M., Giatti, L., & Uchoa, E. (2003). Socioeconomic circumstances and health among the brazilian elderly: A study using data from a National Household Survey. Cad Saude Publica. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000300007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Liu, J., & Raine, A. (2017). Nutritional status and social behavior in preschool children: The mediating effects of neurocognitive functioning. Matern Child Nutr. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12321.Nutritional.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Macedo, C. S., & Andreucci, L. C. (2004). Alterações cognitivas em escolares de classe socio-econômica desfavorecida resultados de intervenção psicopedagógica. Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria, 62, 852–857.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Manso, J. M. M., & Alonso, M. B. (2008). Habilidades psicolingüísticas y dimensiones de inadaptación en niños en situación de acogimiento residencial. Revista Logopedia Foniatría y Audiologia, 28, 166–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0214-4603(08)70054-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Migliavacca, D., Teixeira, E. C., Pires, M., & Fachel, J. (2004). Study of chemical elements in atmospheric precipitation in South Brazil. Atmospheric Environment, 38, 1641–1656. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2003.11.040.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Noble KG, Ph D, Houston SM, et al (2015) HHS Public Access. 18:773–778. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3983.Family

  49. Paula A, Kobarg R, Vieira ML (2002) Crenças e práticas de mães sobre o desenvolvimento infantil nos contextos rural e Urbano. 401–408

  50. Pinto, E. A. D. S., Garcia, E. M., De Almeida, K. A., et al. (2017). Genotoxicity in adult residents in mineral coal region-a cross-sectional study. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24, 16806–16814. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9312-y.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Redshaw M, Henderson J (2013) Fathers ’ engagement in pregnancy and childbirth: evidence from a national survey

  52. Rodriguez-iruretagoiena, A., De, V. S. F., Gredilla, A., et al. (2015). Science of the total environment fate of hazardous elements in agricultural soils surrounding a coal power plant complex from Santa Catarina ( Brazil ). Science of the Total Environment, 508, 374–382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.015.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Rubenstein, E., Durkin, M. S., Harrington, R. A., et al. (2019). Relationship between advanced maternal age and timing of first developmental evaluation in children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 39, 601–609. https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000601.Relationship.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Santos, M., Penteado, J. O., Cristina, M., et al. (2019). Association between DNA damage, dietary patterns, nutritional status, and non-communicable diseases in coal miners. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26, 15600–15607.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Sears, C. G., & Zierold, K. M. (2017). Health of children living near coal ash. Global Pediatric Health. https://doi.org/10.1177/2333794X17720330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Stafilov, T., Šajn, R., & Ahmeti, L. (2019). Environmental engineering geochemical characteristics of soil of the city of Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. J Environ Sci Heal Part A. https://doi.org/10.1080/10934529.2019.1620042.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Stevens GA, Finucane MM, Paciorek CJ (2016) Levels and Trends in Low Height-for-Age. Black RE, Laxminarayan R, Temmerman M, Walk N, eds Reprod Matern Newborn, Child Heal Dis Control Priorities, Third Ed (Volume 2) Washingt Int Bank Reconstr Dev/orld Bank;

  58. Tang, D., Lee, J., Muirhead, L., et al. (2014). Molecular and neurodevelopmental benefits to children of closure of a coal burning power plant in China. PLoS ONE. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091966.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Tang, D., Li, T., Liu, J. J., et al. (2008). Research | children’s health effects of prenatal exposure to coal-burning pollutants on children’s development in China. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116, 674–679. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10471.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Tanić, M. N., Ćujić, M. R., Gajić, B. A., et al. (2018). Content of the potentially harmful elements in soil around the major coal-fired power plant in Serbia: relation to soil characteristics, evaluation of spatial distribution and source apportionment. Environmental Earth Sciences, 77, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7214-4.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Tearne, J. E. (2015). Older maternal age and child behavioral and cognitive outcomes: A review of the literature. Fertility and Sterility, 103, 1381–1391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.04.027.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Trasande, L., & Liu, Y. (2011). Reducing the staggering costs of environmental disease in children, estimated At $76.6 Billion In 2008. Health Affairs, 30, 863–870. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2010.1239.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Victora, C. G., Horta, B. L., De, M. C. L., et al. (2015). Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: A prospective birth cohort study from Brazil. Lancet Glob Heal, 3, 199–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(15)70002-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. World Energy Council (2016) World Energy Resources

  65. World Health Organization (2006) WHO Air Quality Guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Global Update 2005

  66. Xu, X., Ha, S. U., & Basnet, R. (2016). A review of epidemiological research on adverse neurological effects of exposure to ambient air pollution. Front Publlic Heal. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Zablotsky, B., Black, L. I., Maenner, M. J., et al. (2019). Prevalence and trends of developmental disabilities among children in the United States: 2009–2017. Pediatrics, 144, 2009–2017. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-0811.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Zhang, T., Sidorchuk, A., Sevilla-cermeño, L., et al. (2019). Association of cesarean delivery with risk of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in the offspring a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.10236.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the CAPES for providing doctoral scholarships and express their gratitude to the subjects who provided critical information for this study.

Funding

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-Brasil (CAPES)-Finance Code 001.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

MDS, MS and EMG were responsible for the elaboration of the research project, for the collection of epidemiological data and for scientific writing; MCFS and ALMB were responsible for designing the proposal and discussing the results. FMRSJ was the study advisor.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Flavio Manoel Rodrigues da Silva Júnior.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The study was conducted according to all the ethical precepts recommended by Declaration of Helsinki, which regulates research involving human beings. Besides, the study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee in the Health Area of the Federal University of Rio Grande (CEPAS—FURG) under No. 36/2013.

Consent to participate

A written informed consent was obtained from all children and their guardians.

Consent to publication

The manuscript is reviewed and approved by all authors.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dupont-Soares, M., dos Santos, M., Garcia, E.M. et al. Maternal, neonatal and socio-economic factors associated with intellectual development among children from a coal mining region in Brazil. Environ Geochem Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00817-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Schoolchildren
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Environmental pollutant
  • Coal power plant
  • Candiota