Polychlorinated biphenyls in Spanish adults: Determinants of serum concentrations

Antonio Agudo, Fernando Goñi, Arsenio Etxeandia, Asunción Vives, Esmeralda Millán, Raul López, Pilar Amiano, Eva Ardanaz, Aurelio Barricarte, M. Dolores Chirlaque, Miren Dorronsoro, Paula Jakszyn, Nerea Larrañaga, Carmen Martínez, Carmen Navarro, Laudina Rodríguez, M. José Sánchez, M. José Tormo, Carlos A. González

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Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent compounds that may pose an environmental hazard to humans, food being the main source of exposure for the general population. Objective: To measure the serum concentrations of the main PCBs in subjects from the general population in Spain, and to assess potential determinants of such concentrations. Methods: Serum was obtained from blood samples of 953 subjects aged 35-64 years, residents in five Spanish regions (three from the North and two from the South), randomly selected from the EPIC-Spain cohort. Blood collection took place during 1992-1996 and four PCB congeners (118, 138, 153 and 180) were determined by means of gas chromatography with electron-capture detection (GC-ECD). Results: The concentration of total PCBs was 459 ng/g lipids (or 3.1 μg/l); the corresponding figures for PCB 153 were 186 ng/g lipids and 1.25 μg/l. Men had higher values than women, PCB levels increased with age, and serum concentration of PCBs was higher in northern regions. Body mass index (BMI) was inversely related to PCB concentrations, and fish intake was the dietary factor showing the greatest association with serum PCBs. The pattern described was similar for each congener separately. Conclusions: We found concentrations similar to those reported in European countries where blood collection was carried during the same period. Regional differences within Spain are not fully explained by anthropometric or dietary factors. The inverse association with BMI suggests that in the mid-1990s there was still ongoing or recent exposure to PCBs in Spain.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)620-628
Nombre de pàgines9
RevistaEnvironmental Research
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de jul. 2009
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