This study investigated the accumulation features and temporal trends of PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) and non-dioxin-like PCBs (NDL-PCBs) in the blubber of Baikal seals collected in 1992 and 2005. DL-PCBs (480-3600ng/g) and NDL-PCBs (980-35,000ng/g) were dominant contaminants. Concentrations of PCDDs and PCBs in males were significantly higher than in females. In males, age-dependent accumulation was observed for PCDDs, mono-ortho PCBs and NDL-PCBs. PCDFs and non-ortho PCBs showed no such trends, implying that exposure of seals to these contaminants has been decreasing in recent years. No decreasing temporal trend was observed for PCDDs, mono-ortho PCBs and NDL-PCBs, suggesting that Baikal seals are still exposed to PCDDs and PCBs. TEQs of PCDDs and mono-ortho PCBs in seals collected in 2005 accounted for 62-77% of total TEQs. The TEQ levels in 40% of the specimens exceeded the threshold level for immunosuppression observed in harbor seals (209pg/g).
The Inuit population of Nunavik (Canada) is exposed to immunotoxic organochlorines (OCs) mainly through the consumption of fish and marine mammal fat. We investigated the effect of perinatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) on the incidence of acute infections in Inuit infants. We reviewed the medical charts of a cohort of 199 Inuit infants during the first 12 months of life and evaluated the incidence rates of upper and lower respiratory tract infections (URTI and LRTIs, respectively), otitis media, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Maternal plasma during delivery and infant plasma at 7 months of age were sampled and assayed for PCBs and DDE. Compared to rates for infants in the first quartile of exposure to PCBs (least exposed), adjusted rate ratios for infants in higher quartiles ranged between 1.09 and 1.32 for URTIs, 0.99 and 1.39 for otitis, 1.52 and 1.89 for GI infections, and 1.16 and 1.68 for LRTIs during the first 6 months of follow-up. For all infections combined, the rate ratios ranged from 1.17 to 1.27. The effect size was similar for DDE exposure but was lower for the full 12-month follow-up. Globally, most rate ratios were > 1.0, but few were statistically significant (p
OBJECTIVE: Exposure to environmental organochlorines has been examined as a potential risk factor for human breast cancer with mixed results. Our purpose was to examine associations between organochlorines and the development of breast cancer in a large prospective study using stored adipose tissue. METHODS: We conducted a nested case-control study of 409 postmenopausal women who developed breast cancer and 409 controls selected from the 29,875 women enrolled in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health cohort between 1993 and 1997. We measured concentrations of 14 pesticides and 18 polychlorinated biphenyls in adipose tissue, collected upon enrollment, and estimated relative risk (RR) of breast cancer using conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: The results showed no higher risk of breast cancer among women with higher levels of any pesticides or polychlorinated biphenyls; the RR associated with the upper quartile of 1,1-dichloro-2, 2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene concentration was 0.7 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.5-1.2] contrasting the lower quartile, and for the sum of polychlorinated biphenyls the similar risk was 1.1 (95% CI, 0.7-1.7). We observed a pattern of substantially lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer in association with higher levels of most of the pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls; the RR for the higher quartile of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene was 0.1 (95% CI, 0.0-0.5) and for the sum of polychlorinated biphenyls it was 0.3 (95% CI, 0.1-0.9). CONCLUSION: The results do not support that higher organochlorine body levels increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The interpretation of the inverse association for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer is currently unclear.
Exposure to PCBs may be an etiologic factor for breast cancer. The cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzymes are involved in estrogen metabolism and PCB metabolism, both of which may relate to breast cancer susceptibility. Polymorphisms in genes regulating these enzymes control efficiency. Our objective was to assess whether CYP1B1 and COMT gene polymorphisms modulate the effect of PCBs in breast cancer risk, among postmenopausal Danish women. Neither CYP1B1 Leu432Val polymorphisms nor adipose tissue PCBs were independently associated with breast cancer risk. When assessing the independent effect of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, we observed reduced risk for breast cancer amongst hormone replacement therapy using women who were homozygous carriers of the variant allele compared with those carrying the wild-type variant (RR?=?0.41; 95% CI: 0.29-0.89). We found no statistically significant interactions between any of the PCB groups and CYP1B1 or COMT polymorphisms on the risk of breast cancer.
The reuse of municipal sewage for agricultural purposes is becoming more prevalent. The literature concerning the impact of this practice is reviewed. It is readily apparent that agricultural reuse of municipal sewage is preferable to other common methods of disposal both from the point of view of ecological influence and economical waste utilization. There is a need to establish guidelines for the agricultural use of municipal sewage which will serve the variable conditions found in Canada and meet the public health concerns associated with an extensive agricultural use.
In 1985, the human exposure from a site of PCB (Aroclor 1260) contamination in a Toronto community was assessed. The primary source of potential exposure was soil. Extensive surface soil sampling revealed levels greater than expected (geometric mean level = 0.19 ppm). Children under age 6 were considered to be at greatest risk of exposure as they may absorb PCBs from ingested soil or skin contact. A sample of children aged 1-5 was recruited from the community (n = 30) and from a socio-demographically similar control area (n = 23) that had significantly lower but detectable soil PCB levels (geometric mean level = 0.12 ppm). Exposure to PCBs from breastfeeding, food consumption, contact with soil, and parental occupation was comparable in the two groups. Geometric mean blood PCB levels did not differ significantly between the study (1.5 ppb) and control (1.9 ppb) group. Levels ranged up to 5 ppb in both groups and are comparable to those described in children elsewhere in North America.
The Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne is a Native American community located along the St. Lawrence River in New York State, Ontario, and Quebec. One component of a multiphase human health study was to assess the impact of different pathways of human exposure resulting from the off-site migration of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in this area. This paper illustrates how mapped residential information and environmental sampling data can be united to assist in exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies using geographic information system (GIS) technology and statistical methods. A proportional sampling scheme was developed to collect 119 surface soils. Using a method of cross validation, the average estimated error can be computed and the best estimator can be selected. Seven spatial methods were examined to estimate surface soil PCB concentrations; the lowest relative mean error was 0.42% for Inverse 3 nearest neighbor weighted according to the inverse distance, and the highest relative mean error was 4.4% for Voronoi polygons. Residual plots indicated that all methods performed well except near some of the sampling points that formed the outer boundaries of the sampling distribution.
Humans are always exposed to mixtures of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), so assessment of their health effects is complicated. Because the original sources are relatively standard mixtures that change in predictable ways while traversing the environment, there is substantial uniformity in the congener mixtures people carry. To the extent that concentrations are highly correlated, measuring multiple congeners within correlated groups would be unnecessary and estimation of separate biologic effects would be impossible. We examined correlation patterns in previously collected data on 38 congeners (and 14 other organochlorines) from 497 human milk samples from Canada from 1992. Congeners 138, 153, 156, 157, 170, 183, 187, 194, 199, and 203 were highly intercorrelated; 180 had slightly lower correlations with this group. Congeners 74, 105, and 118 were highly intercorrelated and moderately to highly correlated with the first group. Congener 99 had moderate correlations with both these groups, and congener 66 had lesser correlations with the primary group. In contrast, congeners 28, 44, 49, 60, 90/101, 128, 137, and 193 showed little correlation with any other congeners. The remaining 14 congeners were uninformative; they were quantified in fewer than 30% of samples, and varying lipid concentrations meant that those quantified were not necessarily at higher concentrations than those not quantified. In study of human health effects of PCBs, the congener pattern present in the population under study should be examined when deciding which congeners to measure; instead of solely redundant or uninformative congeners, attention should be given to other congeners that may be more useful in addressing the question of interest.
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University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, Department of Environmental Engineering, Ulmenliet 20, 21033 Hamburg, Germany; Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research, School of Science & Sport, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, Paisley PA 1 2BE, United Kingdom. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sediment cores and bottom water samples from across the Baltic Sea region were analyzed for freely dissolved concentrations (Cfree), total sediment concentrations (CT) and the dissolved aqueous fraction in water of seven indicator PCBs. Ex-situ equilibrium sampling of sediment samples was conducted with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coated glass fibers that were analyzed by automated thermal desorption GC-MS, which yielded PCB concentrations in the fiber coating (CPDMS). Measurements of CPDMS and CT were then applied to determine (i) spatially resolved freely dissolved PCB concentrations; (ii) baseline toxicity potential based on chemical activities (a); (iii) site specific mixture compositions; (iv) diffusion gradients at the sediment water interface and within the sediment cores; and (vi) site specific distribution ratios (KD). The contamination levels were low in the Gulf of Finland and moderate to elevated in the Baltic Proper, with the highest levels observed in the western Baltic Sea. The SPME method has been demonstrated to be an appropriate and sensitive tool for area surveys presenting new opportunities to study the in-situ distribution and thermodynamics of hydrophobic organic chemicals at trace levels in marine environments.
One of the most important factors in assessing risk to human health from potentially harmful chemicals in foods is the availability of good data on the exposure of the public to such substances. The means of acquiring these data generally involves monitoring programmes using appropriate sampling procedures and reliable analytical methods for measuring the compounds of concern in a variety of substrates. Two approaches are generally employed: a biological monitoring programme which measures substances in human fluids and tissues, and a food analysis monitoring programme, preferably a total diet study, wherein food is prepared for consumption prior to analysis. The choice of approach to use and chemicals to monitor depend on the situation within a particular country. The analysis of food has the advantage of short term impact since problems can be identified relatively quickly and control measures established. Biological monitoring on the other hand tends to indicate both accumulated and current exposure from all sources, including air, water and food. In Canada both approaches have been used for a number of years with major surveys of human milk and adipose tissue, and the total diet study, being conducted approximately every five years. Details of these programmes together with some of the pertinent findings are presented.