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Maternal and cord serum exposure to PCB and DDE methyl sulfone metabolites in eastern Slovakia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Chemistry.
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2007 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 69, no 3, 403-410 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were commercially produced between 1959 and 1984 in eastern Slovakia. Improper handling led to a highly contaminated local environment and high levels of PCBs in humans and wildlife in the Michalovce area. The aim of this study was to analyse serum for methylsulfonyl metabolites of PCB (MeSO2-PCBs) and DDE (3-MeSO2-DDE) in serum samples from pregnant women and in a selected number of paired cord blood samples to assess maternal sulfone levels and patterns, and transplacental transfer of these metabolites. The donating women were from two districts in eastern Slovakia. A liquid–liquid extraction method together with separation of substance groups and further clean-up on silica gel columns were applied prior to analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. 3-MeSO2-DDE was the major methyl sulfone in most of the samples followed by a yet not identified MeSO2-hexaCB, 4′-MeSO2-CB101, 4′-MeSO2-CB87 and 4-MeSO2-CB149. The women from the contaminated area had three times higher concentrations of the MeSO2-PCBs than women from the reference area. This is the first report on methyl sulfone metabolites of PCB and DDE in human cord serum. It is shown that these metabolites are transported through the placenta. The levels of MeSO2-PCBs in the maternal serum were about 1.5 times higher than in the corresponding cord serum on a lipid weight basis. For 3-MeSO2-DDE, the levels were about the same in maternal and cord serum. The difference in the maternal:cord ratio, comparing MeSO2-PCBs with 3-MeSO2-DDE might be due to differences in transport through the placenta caused by their different affinities for lipoproteins and plasma proteins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 69, no 3, 403-410 p.
Keyword [en]
Human exposure, PCB methyl sulfone, DDE methyl sulfone, PCB metabolites, Michalovce, PCB
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16998DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.04.081ISI: 000249544900007OAI: diva2:183518
Available from: 2007-10-11 Created: 2007-10-11 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessment of Environmental Pollutants in Humans from Four Continents: Exposure levels in Slovakia, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua and Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of Environmental Pollutants in Humans from Four Continents: Exposure levels in Slovakia, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua and Bangladesh
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Humans are continuously exposed to complex mixtures of anthropogenic chemicals. This thesis focus on human exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify together with the extensive historical use of POPs in e.g. agriculture and industry have resulted in detection of these compounds in humans and animals from all over the world. Adverse health effects caused by POPs are of particular concern for newborns and young individuals.

The objective of this thesis is to assess human exposure to a selected set of POPs and their metabolites. More specifically, one aim of my thesis is to determine the exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and in particular their methylsulfonyl and hydroxylated metabolites in humans from a “hot-spot” area of PCB contamination in eastern Slovakia. The maternal transfer of these chemicals is studied. Further, another specific aim is to determine occurrence, levels and, when possible, temporal trends of POPs in children and adults from three developing countries, Nicaragua, Guinea-Bissau and Bangladesh.

High concentrations of PCBs and their metabolites are shown in men and women from Michalovce in eastern Slovakia. Placental transfer of methylsulfonyl-metabolites of PCBs and 4,4’-DDE was observed for the first time. Decreasing temporal trends of the majority of POPs are shown in serum from a cohort of policemen from Guinea-Bissau. In contrast, the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) show an increasing time trend. Within five years, decreasing levels of POPs were also shown in children working and living at a waste disposal site in Nicaragua. Children working and living at waste disposal sites in Bangladesh have considerably lower levels of POPs compared to the children from Nicaragua except for 4,4’-DDT and 4,4’-DDE that are present at very high concentrations, indicating ongoing use of technical DDT.

There are many studies on levels and trends of environmental pollutants from the developed industrial countries in the world, whereas data from developing countries is still scarce. This thesis contributes to partly fill this data gap since it includes assessments of POPs in children and adults from four countries on four continents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Stockholm University, 2010. 68 p.
POPs, PCB, DDT, PBDE, HCH, metabolites, human exposure, children's exposure, placental transfer
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43807 (URN)978-91-7447-136-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-03, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
At the time of doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript. Paper 6: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-11-11 Created: 2010-10-28 Last updated: 2012-01-18Bibliographically approved

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