4-Nonylphenol (NP) and bisphenol A (BPA) are phenolic substances used in high volumes by the industry. Studies on cells and in experimental animals have shown that both these compounds can be classified as estrogenic hormone disrupters. Information about the exposure of humans to NP and BPA is still scarce, especially regarding levels in human blood. The first aim of this study was to investigate possible sources of NP and BPA exposure from food, by analyzing the levels of NP and BPA from a Swedish food market basket, based on the Swedish per capita food consumption. A second aim was to investigate blood serum levels of NP and BPA, as well as NP-ethoxylates, among young women in Sweden (n=100). Moreover, associations between food consumption and blood NP and BPA levels were studied. In food, NP was to some extent found at levels above limit of quantification (LOQ 20 ng/g fresh weight) in fruits, cereal products, vegetables, and potatoes. BPA levels above LOQ (2 ng/g fresh weight) were found in fish, meats, potatoes, and dairy products. The estimated mean intakes per capita were (medium bound) 27 µg NP/day and 3.9 µg BPA/day, showing that food is a source of BPA and NP in the general Swedish population. In blood serum, free NP above limit of detection (LOD 0.5 ng/g) was detected in 46% of the study participants while detectable levels of total NP (LOD 0.8 ng/g) were observed in 43%. The corresponding percentages for BPA were 25% and 22%, respectively. The results indicate that there is a continuous source of exposure to NP and BPA that is high enough for free NP and BPA to be detected in some consumers. Among the participants with quantifiable levels of free and total NP (n=38), 85% (median, range: 38-112%) of the NP was present as free NP. For BPA 76% (49-109%) was detected as free BPA (n=15). All women had levels of ethoxylates of NP below LOD (0.1-0.7 ng/g). A significantly higher total consumption of fruits and vegetables was reported in questionnaires by participants with NP levels at or above LOD than among women with levels below LOD. This result is supporting the market basket results of relatively high NP levels in these types of food.
Tri-decabrominated diphenyl ethers and 21 other flame retardants were determined in matched serum samples from 24 Swedish mothers (Uppsala county) and their toddlers (11-15 months of age). The median concentrations of individual polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) ranged from 0.036 to 0.95 ng/g lipid in mothers and from 0.057 to 1.5 ng/g lipid in toddlers. BDE-209 was detected in all but one sample. BDE-153 was the predominant congener in the mothers while in toddlers, BDE-209 was found in the highest concentrations. The levels of BDE-47, -100, -207, -208, and -209 in toddlers were significantly higher (p
Phthalates and phenolic substances were investigated in urine samples from first-time mothers in Uppsala, Sweden, collected between 2009 and 2014. These substances have a comparably fast metabolism and urinary metabolites are predominantly analysed. The main aim was to investigate if measures to decrease production and use of certain phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) have resulted in decreased human exposure, and to determine if exposures to replacement chemicals have increased. Temporal trends were evaluated for metabolites (n=13) of seven phthalates, a phthalate replacer, four different bisphenols, triclosan, one organophosphate-based flame retardant, and for two pesticides. The results showed downward trends of several phthalates which are in the process of being regulated and phased out. Concomitantly, an increasing trend was seen for a metabolite of the phthalate replacer Di-iso-nonylcyclohexane 1,2-dicarboxylate (DiNCH). Bisphenol A (BPA) showed a downward trend, whereas bisphenol F, identified as one of the substitutes for BPA, showed an increasing trend. The decreasing trend of triclosan is likely due to declining use within the EU. Temporal trend studies of urine samples make it possible to investigate human exposure to rapidly metabolised substances and study how measures taken to regulate and replace problematic chemicals affect human exposure.
Tri-decabrominated diphenyl ethers (tri-decaBDEs), isomer-specific hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and 14 emerging brominated flame retardants (EBFRs) were determined in Swedish market basket samples, two pooled breast milk samples and house dust collected in homes of first-time mothers. Daily dietary and dust intakes were estimated for the mothers and their toddlers and compared to previously reported levels in serum of both the mothers and toddlers and in feces of the toddlers (n=20). Diet was the main contributor for intake of SpentaBDE and a-tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH) for both mothers and toddlers. For SoctaBDE, SHBCD and pentabromobenzene (PBBz), dietary intake was more important for mothers while house dust ingestion was more important for toddlers. House dust was the main exposure route for SdecaBDE, decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB), bis(2-ethylhexyl)tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP), bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE) and pentabromotoluene (PBT) for both mothers and toddlers. Significant correlations (Spearmans, a
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exert harmful effects on cognitive, endocrine and immune functions and bioaccumulate in the environment and human tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate the body burden of several POPs in the adult population (n=246) and their association to diet and other lifestyle factors in a Swedish national survey. Serum concentrations of several polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the pesticides hexachlorobenzene (HCB), ß-hexachlorocyclohexane (ß-HCH), chlordane compounds and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) were determined by liquid-liquid extraction, silica column cleanup and gas chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry. Diet was assessed using 4-day food records and complementary dietary and lifestyle factors by questionnaire. Fish intake was additionally assessed by plasma fatty acid composition. Clustering of the compounds revealed that PCBs were separated into two clusters, one including low-chlorinated PCB 28 and 52, and the other high-chlorinated mono- and di-ortho PCBs, suggesting similarities and dissimilarities in exposure sources and possibly also toxicokinetics. Men had 24% and 32% higher levels of PCB 138-180 and chlordane compounds, respectively, compared with women. This may partly be explained by elimination of the POPs among women reporting a history of breastfeeding. The proportion of very long-chain n-3 fatty acids in plasma were positively correlated with the pollutants: r=0.24 (PCB 28), r=0.33 (PCB 118), r=0.35 (PCB 138-180), r=0.29 (HCB), r=0.18 (ß-HCH), r=0.34 (chlordane compounds), r=0.34 (p,p'-DDE), p=0.005. Individuals consuming fatty Baltic fish=1 time per months had 45% higher serum levels of PCB 118 compared with non-consumers. Levels of PCB 28 were associated with the age of the residential building. To conclude, the population-distributed approach of surveying dietary habits, lifestyle factors and POP body burdens, made it possible to identify personal characteristics associated with the POP body burdens in Sweden.
In 2012 a contamination of drinking water with perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) was uncovered in the City of Uppsala, Sweden. The aim of the present study was to determine how these substances have been distributed from the contamination source through the groundwater to the drinking water and how the drinking water exposure has influenced the levels of PFAAs in humans over time. The results show that PFAA levels in groundwater measured 2012-2014 decreased downstream from the point source, although high SPFAA levels (>100ng/L) were still found several kilometers from the point source in the Uppsala aquifer. The usage of aqueous film forming fire-fighting foams (AFFF) at a military airport in the north of the city is probably an important contamination source. Computer simulation of the distribution of PFAA-contaminated drinking water throughout the City using a hydraulic model of the pipeline network suggested that consumers in the western and southern parts of Uppsala have received most of the contaminated drinking water. PFAA levels in blood serum from 297 young women from Uppsala County, Sweden, sampled during 1996-1999 and 2008-2011 were analyzed. Significantly higher concentrations of perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) were found among women who lived in districts modeled to have received contaminated drinking water compared to unaffected districts both in 1996-1999 and 2008-2011, indicating that the contamination was already present in the late 1990s. Isomer-specific analysis of PFHxS in serum showed that women in districts with contaminated drinking water also had an increased percentage of branched isomers. Our results further indicate that exposure via contaminated drinking water was the driving factor behind the earlier reported increasing temporal trends of PFBS and PFHxS in blood serum from young women in Uppsala.
We identified factors that are important determinants of body burdens (breast milk levels) of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PCBs, PCDD/Fs and PBDEs were analysed in breast milk from up to 325 first-time mothers in Uppsala, Sweden, who delivered between 1996 and 2006. Hierarchical clustering was used as a method for identification of groups of compounds with common sources of exposure and similar toxicokinetics. Based on correlations between levels of single compounds/congeners in breast milk, distinctly separated clusters were formed, strongly dependent on structural similarities of the organohalogen molecules. In a multiple regression model, levels of PCBs (except PCB 28), PCDD/Fs and BDE-153 were positively associated with age of the mother and weight loss after delivery and inversely associated with pre-pregnancy BMI (body mass index) and weight gain during pregnancy. Higher levels of mono-ortho PCB TEQ, non-ortho PCB TEQ and BDE-153 in milk were found among women with high physical activity. Women who were breastfed during infancy and grew up on the Baltic coast of Sweden, with high availability of contaminated fish from the Baltic sea, had higher levels of PCBs and PCDD/Fs in breast milk indicating that exposure early in life from breast milk and contaminated fish may still affect body burdens at the time of pregnancy. The importance of current consumption of fatty Baltic fish as a source of exposure was supported by the positive association with breast milk levels of mono-ortho PCB TEQ, PCDF TEQ and BDE-153. The results show that, in contrast to the lower brominated PBDE congeners, the hexa-brominated BDE-153 resembles the chlorinated compounds with regards to determinants in breast milk. This suggests that some of the PBDEs may have toxicokinetic properties and that are similar to the PCBs and PCDD/Fs. Our results show that a few simple advices to women regarding weight changes in connection with pregnancy and consumption of contaminated fatty fish during the whole lifetime may lower the levels of dioxins in breast milk by up to 60%.
Thyroid hormones (THs) regulate many biological functions in the human body and are essential for normal brain development. Epidemiological studies have observed diverging associations between halogenated persistent organic pollutant (POP) exposure and concentrations of THs in pregnant women and their infants. We investigated whether background exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is related to TH status in a Swedish population of pregnant women and their infants. Furthermore, we examined associations between polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and TH status in early pregnancy as an extension of an earlier study focusing on late pregnancy TH status.
Free thyroxine (T4), total triiodo-thyronine (T3) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were analysed in serum from first-time mothers (N?=?220-281) in the first and third trimester, and in infants (N?=?115-150) 3 weeks and 3 months after delivery. Antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) (N?=?260) were measured in maternal third trimester serum. Maternal body burdens of PCBs (N?=?281) were estimated from serum lipid PCB concentrations in late pregnancy, and PCDD/F (N?=?97) and PBDE (N?=?186) body burdens were estimated from concentrations in mother's milk lipids 3 weeks after delivery. Linear regression models allowed for covariate adjustment of the associations between ln-transformed POP body burdens and concentrations of TH and anti-TPO.
Maternal body burden of BDE-153 was inversely associated with first trimester total T3, otherwise no associations between PBDEs and first and second trimester THs were observed. No associations were found between maternal PBDE body burdens and infant THs. Maternal body burden of PCDD/Fs were inversely associated with first trimester total T3. No associations were observed between PCBs and first trimester THs. Third trimester anti-TPO was not associated with maternal PCBs, PCDD/Fs and PBDEs.
Our results suggest that maternal PCDD/F and BDE-153 body burdens influence maternal TH status in early pregnancy, which is a critical period when maternal TH status influences fetal development.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for the newborn infant. However, since all infants cannot be breast-fed, there is a need for background data for setting adequate daily intakes. Previously, concentration data on major essential elements and some toxic elements in breast milk, based on different analytical techniques, have been published. There is no recent study on a large number of metals and trace elements in breast milk, using a sensitive analytical method for determination of low element concentrations.
Breast milk concentrations of 32 metals and elements in early lactation (days 14-21) were determined in a random sample of first time Swedish mothers (n?=?60) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS).
There were small inter-individual concentration variations in the macroelements Ca, K, Mg, P and S, and striking similarities across studies and over time, supporting a tight regulation of these elements in breast milk. Large inter-individual and over time differences were detected for Na concentrations, which may reflect an increase in salt consumption in Swedish women. Large inter-individual differences were also detected for the microelements Co, Cr, Mn and Mo, and the toxic metals As, Cd, Pb, Sb and V. Arsenic and B were positively correlated with fish consumption, indicating influence of maternal intake on breast milk concentrations. Observed differences in breast milk element concentrations across studies and over time could be attributed to the timing of sampling and a general decline over time of lactation (Cu, Fe, Mo, Zn), a possible lack of regulation of certain elements in breast milk (As, B, Co, Mn, Se) and time trends in environmental exposure (Pb), or in some cases to differences in analytical performance (Cr, Fe).
This study provides reliable updated information on a number of metals and elements in breast milk, of which some have not previously been reported.
Prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) may influence birth weight among infants in a Swedish cohort with background exposure: a cross-sectional study.
Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants, e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) has been suggested to negatively affect birth weight although epidemiological evidence is still inconclusive. We investigated if prenatal exposure to PCBs and PBDEs is related to birth weight in a Swedish population with background exposure.
Breast milk was sampled during the third week after delivery from first-time mothers in Uppsala county, Sweden 1996-2010 (POPUP cohort) (N?=?413). Samples were analysed for di-ortho PCBs (CB-138, 153, 180) and tetra- to hexa- brominated PBDEs (BDE-47, 99, 100, 153). Simple and multiple linear regression models were used to investigate associations between lipid-adjusted, ln-transformed PCB and PBDE concentrations, and birth weight. Covariates included in the multivariate regression model were PCB and PBDE exposure, maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, weight gain during pregnancy, education, smoking, gender of the infant and gestational length. The effect of including fish consumption was also investigated.
In the multivariate model, prenatal exposure to di-ortho PCBs was significantly associated with increased birth weight (ß?=?137; p?=?0.02). The result did not change when gestational length was added to the model. An inverse association between PBDE(4) (sum of BDE-47, -99, -100 and -153) and birth weight was observed in the multivariate model including gestational length (ß?=?-106; p?=?0.04). Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and weight gain during pregnancy were important confounders of the association between di-ortho PCBs and birth weight. The associations were not alleviated after adjustment for fish consumption, a major source of PCB and PBDE exposure. The observed associations were stronger for boys than for girls.
Our results indicate that prenatal exposure to di-ortho PCBs and PBDE(4) may influence birth weight in different directions, i.e. PCB exposure was associated with higher birth weight and PBDE exposure with lower birth weight. Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and weight gain during pregnancy were important confounders that may hide positive association between di-ortho PCB exposure and birth weight if they are not included in the statistical model. We speculate that even small PCB- and PBDE-induced shifts in the distribution of birth weight may influence future public health in populations with background exposure.