Persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in adipose tissues of patients with uterine leiomyomas and the association of these pollutants with seafood diet, BMI, and age
ABSTRACT Background, aim, and scopePersistent organic pollutants and heavy metals can cause diseases in women, however, the relationships of these pollutants
and uterine leiomyomas (UL), which are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus, are unclear. This study focused on the quantification
of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated
diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and heavy metals in subcutaneous and visceral fat obtained from patients with UL and in subcutaneous
fat of a control group of women without UL to determine if there were any correlations between concentrations of persistent
organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals and the incidence of UL.
Materials and methodsSamples were collected from ethnic Chinese residents from six hospitals and six cosmetic surgery clinics in Hong Kong. Patients
with UL provided both subcutaneous and visceral fat, while women without UL (control group) provided subcutaneous fat through
liposuction. Analyses of POPs and heavy metals were conducted using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and inductively coupled
plasma-optical emission spectrometry, respectively. Total mercury (Hg) content was measured using an atomic fluorescence spectrometer.
ResultsSignificantly higher (p < 0.01 or 0.05) concentrations of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs), PCBs, PAHs, PBDEs,
arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and Hg were detected in the subcutaneous fat of patients when compared with those of
the control group. Significant correlations were found between pollutant concentrations of subcutaneous and visceral fat in
the patient group, with visceral fat containing significantly higher (p < 0.01 or 0.05) concentrations of As (subcutaneous fat: 0.59μg/kg fat; visceral fat: 0.73), Cd (0.38; 0.47), Pb (5.24; 5.98),
and Hg (9.12; 13.3).
DiscussionSince UL has a close relationship with estrogen levels in women, and OCPs, PCBs, PAHs, and PBDEs have an estrogen-like effect,
these chemicals may correlate with UL. This study showed higher levels of DDT and its metabolites, HCHs, fluoranthene, pyrene,
benzo(a)pyrene, PCBs, and BDE-99 in patients with UL than those in the control group. Furthermore, higher concentrations of
Cd, Pb, As, and Hg were found in the patient group than those in the control group suggesting that these chemicals may correlate
ConclusionOur studies demonstrated that these persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals may have correlations with UL, and
their accumulation in the body is positively correlated with seafood diet habit, body mass index, and age. In the patient
group, higher levels of persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals were found in visceral fat than in subcutaneous
fat confirming the long-held belief that visceral fat is more pernicious and pathogenic than subcutaneous fat.
Recommendations and perspectivesIt is recommended that women minimize their exposure to environmental pollutants as much as possible which includes consuming
certain seafoods in moderation, such as fatty fish, carnivorous fish (tuna and swordfish), and shellfish which are known to
concentrate POPs and heavy metals, respectively.
KeywordsUterine leiomyomas-Cancer-Heavy metals-POPs
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to quantify organic chlorinated pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in blood plasma collected from 111 healthy residents in Hong Kong to assess the levels of these pollutants in the general population during the period of March to April, 2008. Concentrations of these residues in blood plasma obtained from the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Naphthalene, phenanthrene, p,p'-DDE, PCB-180, and PBDE-47 were detected in 100% of the participants. Females had significantly greater concentrations of acenaphthylene (female: 93.3 ng/g lipid; male: 39.8, p < 0.05), anthracene (22.3; 15.3, p < 0.05), fluoranthene (138; 125, p < 0.05), p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, PCB-183, BDE-99 than males. Blood of smokers contained significantly greater (p < 0.05) concentrations of acenaphthene, benzo(a)pyrene, p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, PCB-138, BDE-47, and BDE-99 than did blood of nonsmokers. Positive correlations were found between concentrations of each class of pollutant, with respect to seafood diet habit, Body Mass Index (BMI), and age. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in blood plasma of healthy Hong Kong residents were greater than those of other countries, and it was found that smoking, consumption of a seafood diet, BMI, and age could influence concentrations in human blood.Environmental Science & Technology 01/2011; · 4.80 Impact Factor