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Human exposure to persistent organic pollutants in West Africa - A temporal trend study from Guinea-Bissau
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Environmental Chemistry.
National Public Health Laboratory, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.
Infectious Diseases Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University.
Infectious Diseases Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University.
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2010 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 36, no 7, 675-682 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Humans, independent on where they live, are exposed to complex and various mixtures of chemicals, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The variability of the exposure depends on sources of the chemicals and is influenced by e.g. geography, social and cultural heritage. While exposures to POPs are frequently studied in populations from developed industrial countries, very little is known on levels and trends of POPs in developing countries, especially in Africa.

Objectives

The aim of the present study was to investigate levels and temporal trends of POPs in adults from Guinea-Bissau.

Methods

Serum samples were obtained from an open cohort of police officers in Guinea-Bissau. Repeated samples from 33 individuals were obtained at five time points between 1990 and 2007, in all 147 samples. Pooled serum samples were extracted and cleaned-up prior to analysis by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The concentration of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (4,4′-DDT) and its metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) were determined.

Results

The major POP found in all samples was 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethene (4,4′-DDE) followed by 4,4′-DDT. 4,4′-DDE, 4,4′-DDT, PCBs and β- and γ-HCH were significantly decreasing over time. The PBDEs were found at low concentrations, with an increasing temporal trend for BDE-153.

Conclusion

National and international management may be behind the observed decreased organohalogen compound concentrations in humans from Guinea-Bissau from the early 1990's and onwards, similarly to the development of these compounds in humans from industrial countries. In contrast, PBDEs follow a trend of increasing concentrations even though at low levels

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 36, no 7, 675-682 p.
Keyword [en]
DDT, PCB, PBDE, HCH, Human, Africa
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43665DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.04.020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-43665DiVA: diva2:358841
Available from: 2010-10-25 Created: 2010-10-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically 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.
Keyword
POPs, PCB, DDT, PBDE, HCH, metabolites, human exposure, children's exposure, placental transfer
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
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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