The association of cadmium exposure with area of residence, blood pressure, and arterial hypertensive disease was examined in 230 reindeer herders in northernmost arctic Finland. Blood cadmium concentration averaged 10.0 nmol/l, and was three times higher in smokers than in nonsmokers (16.7 vs. 5.5 nmol/l). Concentrations increased from the southwestern to the northeastern area west of the Kola Peninsula, Russia, both in nonsmokers (3.1 vs. 6.8 nmol/l) and smokers (10.8 vs. 32.0 nmol/l). High cadmium levels were most common in the northeast: 32% of the values were at least 15 nmol/l, 10% at least 45 nmol/l (health-based limit of WHO), and 3% at least 90 nmol/l (the critical limit for renal damage). High cadmium concentration was associated with a rise in blood pressure; the rise was particularly pronounced in subjects with hypertensive diseases. These associations were not affected by age, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The results suggest that cadmium exposure may have harmful health effects in arctic Finland and emphasize the importance of reducing pollution from industrial sources in the Kola Peninsula.
Animal studies have indicated that perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) increase mammary fibroadenomas. A recent case-control study in Greenlandic Inuit women showed an association between the PFAS serum levels and breast cancer (BC) risk. The present study evaluates the association between serum levels of PFAS in pregnant Danish women and the risk of premenopausal BC during a follow-up period of 10-15 years using prospectively collected exposure data during the pregnancy.
Questionnaire and blood samples were taken during 1996-2002 and at the end of follow-up, all 250 BC cases and 233 frequency-matched controls were chosen for further analyses. Serum levels of ten perfluorocarboxylated acids, five perfluorosulfonated acids, and one sulfonamide (perflurooctane-sulfonamide, PFOSA) were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization in negative mode. Computer-assisted telephone interviews taken during pregnancy provided data on potential confounders.
Weak positive and negative insignificant associations were found between BC risk and levels of perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS), respectively. Grouped into quintile, the BC cases had a significant positive association with PFOSA at the highest quintiles and a negatively association for PFHxS. Sensitivity analyses excluding uncertain cases caused stronger data for PFOSA and weaker for PFHxS. No further significant associations were observed.
This study does not provide convincing evidence for a causal link between PFAS exposures and premenopausal BC risks 10-15 years later.
Cites: Am J Public Health. 1989 Mar;79(3):340-92916724
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Oct;119(10):1466-7121665566
Blood plasma samples were collected in 1967 from 32 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in eastern Svalbard. These samples were stored frozen until 2001 and then analyzed for 33 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), two toxaphene congeners, DDTs, chlordanes (CHL), hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), and polybrominated flame retardants (biphenyls and diphenyl ethers). The 1967 pollutant levels were compared with values from 1993 to 1994 for adult females and adult males to obtain insights into the historical development of pollution in the Norwegian Arctic. Differences in the OC levels measured between 1967 and 1993-1994 ranged from a decrease (PCB 187 and p,p-DDE) to unchanged in both sexes (PCBs 105, 118, 209, and HCH) to an increase in females (PCBs 99, 128, and CHL), to increases in both sexes (PCBs 138, 153, 156, 157, 170, 180, 194, and 206). The maximum change was a nine-fold increase in PCB 157 in adult females. Changes from 1967 to 1993-1994 in contaminant pattern expressed relative to PCB 153 could be explained by a combination of selective metabolism and accumulation of organochlorines in polar bears and temporal changes in the contaminant mixture being transported to the Arctic. Harvest of polar bears in Svalbard ended in 1973 and it appears that most pollutant levels were increasing at the same time that the population was expected to recover from over-harvest. The mean age of adult females in the Svalbard population was similar to other populations where pollution levels are lower but harvest is intense. Females with cubs-of-the-year > or =16 years old are uncommon in the population for unknown reasons. The impacts of contaminants on the Svalbard polar bear population are inconclusive but there are suggestions of contaminant-related population level effects that could have resulted from reproductive impairment of females, lower survival rates of cubs, or increased mortality of reproductive females.
For most Canadians, food represents one of the major sources of environmental contaminants. Among them, organochlorine compounds (OCs) are known to affect calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis. They are neurotoxic by perturbation of Ca2+ channels and pumps, and they interfere with protein kinase C (PKC) and Ca2+ binding protein (CaBP). Ca2+ is an essential element to adequate fetal growth and development. The aim of the present study is to determine the relation between low environmental maternal exposure to OCs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB 153), Aroclor 1260, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethane (DDE), Ca2+ levels in serum and placenta, placental Ca2+ transfer, and newborn development. Total Ca2+ and OCs were measured in women's serum samples, as well as in umbilical cord's serum and placenta at term. Placentas were taken for trophoblast cells isolation and Ca2+ incorporation kinetic experiments. Our results were obtained from 30 pregnant women from the southwestern area of Quebec. Concentrations of Aroclor 1260, PCB 153, DDE, and DDT were respectively 6.1, 6.0, 3.1, and 2.9 times lower in the umbilical cord serum than in the mother's serum at term. In the placenta, DDE was accumulated at higher levels than other contaminants. A tendency towards an inverse relation was observed for in OCs found in three compartments and Ca2+ levels in maternal serum and in placental tissues. Maternal Ca2+ concentrations do not influence Ca2+ uptake by syncytiotrophoblast. Only DDE (>/=0.70 mug/l) in maternal serum significantly was associated with a small increase in Ca2+ uptake by syncytiotrophoblast. This study will help us determine if low OC contamination significantly modifies Ca2+ transfer in syncytiotrophoblast.
Persistent Organic Pollutants (11 pesticides and 14 PCB-congeners), and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se, and Zn) were determined in 175 pregnant women and 160 newborn infants (umbilical cord blood) from Disko Bay, Greenland, 1994-96. Among these, 135 women filled out questionnaires about drinking, smoking and intake of traditional Inuit food. Multiple linear regression analyses showed highly significant positive associations between the mothers' smoking status (never, previous, present) and plasma concentrations of all the studied organic pollutants both in maternal blood and umbilical cord blood. Traditional food and not the tobacco is known to be the source of the contaminants. But smoking may influence the enzymatic turnover of toxic substances.
Cross-sectional studies have shown an association between exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and coronary heart disease (CHD). These findings need to be evaluated in longitudinal settings.
To investigate the risk of CHD in relation to PFAS levels in a longitudinal setting among Swedish rural residents.
In a population-based prospective cohort of male farmers and rural residents recruited in 1990-1991, all men who received a CHD diagnosis between 1992 and 2009 were identified from national registers (n=253). For each CHD case, one control, matched for age, was chosen randomly from the cohort. For all cases and controls, levels of eight PFASs at baseline were measured in stored blood samples. In addition, for a subsample, PFAS levels were also measured in serum samples collected at a follow-up in 2002-2003.
There were no statistically significant associations between levels of seven of the eight PFASs at baseline and risk for developing CHD. There was a significant association between perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA) and CHD (OR=2.72; 95% CI: 1.52, 4.84) for the 3rd quartile and (OR=2.45; 95% CI: 1.40, 4.29) for the 4th quartile compared to the lowest quartile. Changes in levels of PFCs between baseline and follow-up did not differ systematically between cases and controls.
This longitudinal study does not lend support to the previously reported cross-sectional relationship between PFAS levels and CHD risk. We found a significant association with PFHpA, but this could be a chance finding, considering its chemical resemblance to other PFASs.
In a selected group of women from the Danish National Birth Cohort, the authors investigated the association between intake of fatty fish and plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the one hand and the association between maternal PCB concentrations and fetal growth on the other. Of 70,183 women who filled in a food frequency questionnaire during 1996-2002, 100 nulliparous women aged 25-35 years with normal prepregnancy body mass index were selected according to their intake of fatty fish (low (0 meals/month, n = 34), medium (1-3 meals/month, n = 33), or high (> or = meals/month, n = 33)). Women with a high intake of fatty fish had 50% (95% confidence interval (CI): 31, 72) higher plasma PCB concentrations than women with low intake. Maternal plasma PCB concentrations were inversely associated with birth weight and placental weight. The adjusted mean difference between the 75th and 25th PCB percentiles was -155 g (95% CI: -291, -19) for birth weight and -81 g (95% CI: -135, -26) for placental weight. These results support previous findings from this cohort, where fatty fish intake was inversely associated with fetal growth. Dietary recommendations often encourage weekly consumption of fatty fish. These results suggest that potential exposure to PCBs should be carefully considered before recommending such intakes among women of childbearing age.
Some organochlorine compounds may have weak oestrogenic effects and are therefore suspected of increasing the risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer was assessed prospectively in relation to the serum concentration of several organochlorines. In all 240 women, who developed breast cancer between 1976 and 1993 were together with 477 breast cancer-free controls enrolled in a cohort-nested case-control study. The serum dieldrin concentration was associated with a significantly increased dose-related risk of breast cancer (Odds Ratio 2.05; 95% confidence interval 1.17-3.57; p for trend 0.01). There was no overall association between risk of breast cancer and DDT or polychlorinated biphenyls. The results support the hypothesis that exposure to oestrogenic organochlorines may increase the risk of breast cancer.
BACKGROUND: The relationship between breast cancer and organochlorine exposure is controversial and complex. As estrogen receptor positive and negative breast cancer may represent different entities of the disease, this study was undertaken to evaluate organochlorines influence on breast cancer risk and survival according to receptor status. METHODS: The background material stems from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (Denmark 1976-78). The breast cancer risk was investigated in a cohort nested case-control design including 161 cases and twice as many breast cancer free controls. The cases served as a cohort in the survival analysis. Serum organochlorine concentrations were determined by gaschromotography. RESULTS: The observed increased breast cancer risk associated with exposure to dieldrin derived from women who developed an estrogen receptor negative (ERN) tumor (Odds ratio [OR] I vs. IV quartile, 7.6, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4-46.1, p-value for linear trend 0.01). Tumors in women with the highest dieldrin serum level were larger and more often spread at the time of diagnosis than ERP tumors. The risk of dying was for the remaining evaluated compounds higher among patients with ERP breast cancer when compared to those with ERN. In the highest quartile of polychlorinated biphenyls (SigmaPCB) it was more than 2-fold increased (Relative risk [RR] I vs. IV quartile, 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.7), but no dose-response relation was apparent. CONCLUSION: The results do not suggest that exposure to potential estrogenic organochlorines leads to development of an ERP breast cancer. A possible adverse effect on prognosis of hormone-responsive breast cancers needs to be clarified.