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Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides in human blood of pregnant women from Germany


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides in human blood of pregnant women from Germany



Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A 71(11-12): 703-709



ISSN/ISBN: 1528-7394

PMID: 18569567

DOI: 10.1080/15287390801985034

Blood samples from 226 pregnant women aged between 19 and 41 yr, living in an industrialized area of Germany (Duisburg birth cohort study), were collected between September 2000 and November 2002 and analyzed for their content of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were in the range of 4.34-97.3 pg WHO 1998 TEq/g(lipid) (base) (median: 25.96) or 3.77-63.56 pg WHO 2005 TEq/g(lipid) (base) (median: 19.38), respectively. Whole blood volume-based concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and their metabolites were 0.036-0.53 mu g/L (median: 0.15) hexachlorobenzene (HCB), 4.5-1300 ng/L (median: 67) beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), 0.6-520 ng/L (median: 18) 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and 0.1-9.1 mu g/L (median: 0.54) 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyidichloroethene (DDE). Parameters influencing the POP levels in human blood were examined using multiple regression models. Levels and the levels scatter widths of most PCDD/F and PCB congeners and HCB increased significantly with age. Within the multiple regression model a weak age dependence was also found for beta-HCH and DDT, whereas blood levels of alpha- and gamma-HCH and DDE were not age dependent. The total lactation period for earlier born children decreased most POP blood levels, except for alpha- and gamma-HCH. Over the study period of 27 mo only a low decreasing effect on human POP blood levels was observed. The body mass index had in general no or a low positive influence on contaminant levels. Because exposure to PCDD/F and PCB is higher in most industrialized countries in comparison to less industrialized ones, lower levels of these substances were detected in blood samples of women who had lived outside Western Europe for a longer period. In contrast, these women showed higher blood levels of organochlorine pesticides, indicating that these chemicals are still in use outside Western Europe.

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