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Assessment of Environmental Pollutants in Humans from Four Continents: Exposure levels in Slovakia, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua and Bangladesh
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
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 [en]
POPs, PCB, DDT, PBDE, HCH, metabolites, human exposure, children's exposure, placental transfer
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43807ISBN: 978-91-7447-136-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-43807DiVA: diva2:359517
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
List of papers
1. Levels of PCBs and their metabolites in the serum of residents of a highly contaminated area in eastern Slovakia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Levels of PCBs and their metabolites in the serum of residents of a highly contaminated area in eastern Slovakia
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2006 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 40, no 12, 3696-3703 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The over-riding aim of the present investigation was to obtain information concerning exposure that can be used as a basis for studies on the health of individuals residing in the Michalovce area of eastern Slovakia which is heavily contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Accordingly, this work focused on determination of serum concentrations of hydroxylated (OH-PCBs) and methylsulfonyl-substituted (MeSO2-PCBs) metabolites of PCBs. One hundred and twenty-two men and women, 20-59 years of age, living in the contaminated area and 175 from the control Stropkov/Svidnik district were selected randomly from 2047 sampled individuals. Following a specially designed cleanup, the levels of various congeners of OH-PCBs and MeSO2-PCBs in their serum were quantitated by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, with comparison to authentic reference standards. The median concentrations of PCB congeners and their OH-PCB and MeSO2-PCB metabolites were 2-3-fold higher in residents of Michalovce than in the control region. The levels of certain OH-PCB metabolites were in the same high range as those of individual PCB congeners, whereas the MeSO2-PCB levels were significantly lower. The PCB and their metabolites were present at slightly higher concentrations in men than in women, and the serum levels of PCBs and MeSO2-PCBs increased with increasing age. Thus, the environmental contamination resulting from previous industrial production of PCBs has led to elevated concentrations of PCBs and their metabolites in the serum of individuals living in the Michalovce area.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25332 (URN)10.1021/es0525657 (DOI)16830529 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2006-01-18 Created: 2006-01-18 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved
2. Maternal and cord serum exposure to PCB and DDE methyl sulfone metabolites in eastern Slovakia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maternal and cord serum exposure to PCB and DDE methyl sulfone metabolites in eastern Slovakia
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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.

Keyword
Human exposure, PCB methyl sulfone, DDE methyl sulfone, PCB metabolites, Michalovce, PCB
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16998 (URN)10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.04.081 (DOI)000249544900007 ()
Available from: 2007-10-11 Created: 2007-10-11 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved
3. Human exposure to persistent organic pollutants in West Africa - A temporal trend study from Guinea-Bissau
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human exposure to persistent organic pollutants in West Africa - A temporal trend study from Guinea-Bissau
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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

Keyword
DDT, PCB, PBDE, HCH, Human, Africa
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43665 (URN)10.1016/j.envint.2010.04.020 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-10-25 Created: 2010-10-25 Last updated: 2011-01-21Bibliographically approved
4. Persistent organochlorine pollutants in children working at a waste-disposal site and in young females with high fish consumption in Managua, Nicaragua
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Persistent organochlorine pollutants in children working at a waste-disposal site and in young females with high fish consumption in Managua, Nicaragua
2006 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, Vol. 35, no 3, 109-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to assess persistent organochlorine pollutant (POP) levels in serum collected from children (11-15 years old) working and sometimes also living at the municipal waste-disposal site in Managua, located at the shore of Lake Managua, and in nonworking children living both nearby and also far away from the waste-disposal site. The influence of fish consumption was further evaluated by assessing POPS levels in serum from young women (15-24 years old) with markedly different patterns of fish consumption from Lake Managua. 2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloro-ethane (4,4’-DDT) and 2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloro-ethene (4,4-DDE), T-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH), polychlorinated biphenyls, pentachlorophenol, and polychlorobiphenylols were quantified in all samples. In general, the levels observed were higher than those reported in children from developed countries, such as Germany and United States. Toxaphene, aldrin, dieldrin, and beta-HCH could not be identified in any sample. The children working at the waste-disposal site had higher levels of POPS compared with the nonworking reference groups. In children not working, there were also gradients for several POPs, according to vicinity to the waste-disposal site. Moreover, in children, as well as in young women, there were gradients according to fish consumption. The most abundant component was 4,4-DDE, but at levels still lower than those reported in children from malarious areas with a history of recent or current application of 4,4-DDT for vector control.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43666 (URN)
Available from: 2010-10-25 Created: 2010-10-25 Last updated: 2011-03-14Bibliographically approved
5. Brominated and chlorinated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in children working and living at two waste disposal sites in Nicaragua - a revisit
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brominated and chlorinated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in children working and living at two waste disposal sites in Nicaragua - a revisit
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43674 (URN)
Available from: 2010-10-25 Created: 2010-10-25 Last updated: 2011-01-24
6. Environmental exposure to POPs and heavy metals in urban children from Dhaka, Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental exposure to POPs and heavy metals in urban children from Dhaka, Bangladesh
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Monitoring, ISSN 1464-0325, E-ISSN 1464-0333, Vol. 13, no 10, 2728-2734 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals are well known environmental pollutants. Even though numerous studies have been carried out to assess human exposures to these compounds, there is still a lack of data on humans from developing countries, especially in underprivileged children. The objective of this study was to assess the exposure to POPs and heavy metals in children from Dhaka, Bangladesh. One specific aim was to investigate whether children working at, or living close to, open waste disposal sites (WDSs) were more heavily exposed than other urban children. In 2008, blood and serum were collected from 73 children aged 7-16 from five neighbourhoods. Some of the children lived and worked at WDSs (N = 31), others lived next to a WDS (N = 17), whereas some children lived far from such sites (N = 25). Blood levels of lead (B-Pb), cadmium (B-Cd), and selenium (B-Se) were determined by ICP-MS for all subjects. The metal levels were high, with B-Pb overall mean 120 mu g L(-1) (range 40-220), B-Cd 0.74 mu g L(-1) (0.22-4.1), and B-Se 120 mu g L(-1) (81-170). There were no marked differences between children from the different neighbourhoods, or between WDS workers and other children. PCB levels were low and with no contrast between neighbourhoods, for CB-153 the overall mean was 7.0 ng g(-1) fat (2.8-51). In contrast, high levels of DDTs were observed in all children, for 4,4'-DDE 1300 ng g(-1) fat (420-4600), and for 4,4'-DDT 326 ng g(-1) fat (44-1400), indicating ongoing exposure. PBDE levels were low, and BDE-209 was quantitated mainly in children working at or living close to WDSs. In conclusion, the high levels of DDTs, lead and cadmium observed in children from Dhaka are of concern. Many children were exposed at levels where health effects have been observed, or at levels without safety margins.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69909 (URN)10.1039/c1em10480b (DOI)000295579000007 ()
Note
authorCount :7Available from: 2012-01-18 Created: 2012-01-15 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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