Predictors of Serum Dioxins and PCBs among Peripubertal Russian Boys

Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 10/2009; 117(10):1593-9. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0800223
Source: PubMed


Although sources and routes of exposure to dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been studied, information regarding exposure among children is limited. Breast-feeding and diet are two important contributors to early life exposure. To further understand other significant contributors to childhood exposure, we studied a cohort of children from a city with high environmental dioxin levels.
We investigated predictors of serum concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs)/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs)/co-planar PCBs (C-PCBs), toxic equivalents (TEQs), and PCBs among 8- to 9-year-old boys in Chapaevsk, Russia.
We used general linear regression models to explore associations of log(10)-transformed serum concentrations of PCDDs/PCDFs/C-PCBs, TEQs, and PCBs at study entry with anthropometric, demographic, geographic, and dietary factors in 482 boys in Chapaevsk, Russia.
The median (25th, 75th percentile) concentration for total 2005 TEQs was 21.1 pg/g lipid (14.4, 33.2). Boys who were older, consumed local foods, were breast-fed longer, and whose mothers were employed at the Khimprom chemical plant (where chlorinated chemicals were produced) or gardened locally had significantly higher serum dioxins and PCBs, whereas boys with higher body mass index or more educated parents had significantly lower serum dioxins and PCBs. Boys who lived < 2 km from Khimprom had higher total TEQs (picograms per gram lipid) [adjusted mean = 30.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 26.8-35.0] than boys who lived > 5 km away (adjusted mean = 18.8; 95% CI, 17.2-20.6).
Our findings suggest that there are specific local sources of dioxin and PCB exposure among children in Chapaevsk including maternal gardening, consumption of locally grown food, and residential proximity to the Khimprom plant.

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    • "The authors (Pless-Mulloli et al. 2005) concluded that body burden of PCDD/F and PCBs was not a suitable biomarker for chronic, non-occupational exposure to industrial air pollution. In Russia, by contrast, boys who lived <2 km from chemical plant formerly producing organochlorinated compounds, Khimprom in Chapaevsk, had higher organochlorine levels than boys who lived >5 km away (Lam et al. 2013; Humblet et al. 2010; Burns et al. 2009). Potential meteorological conditions may explain some of these discrepant results, as well as disposal practises (e.g. on site, locally, or further away, and types of containers etc.) and duration between production and timing of sampling. "
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