Internal exposure to pollutants and body size in Flemish adolescents and adults: Associations and dose-response relationships

Department of Endocrinology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
Environment international (Impact Factor: 5.56). 02/2010; 36(4):330-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.01.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Flanders is densely populated with much industry and intensive farming. Body size of 14- to 15-year old adolescents and of adults aged 50-65 was studied in relation to internal exposure to pollutants. 1679 adolescents (887 boys and 792 girls), 775 men and 808 women were selected as a random sample of the population. Concentrations of pollutants in blood or urine were measured in accordance with quality control/quality assurance procedures. Self-assessment questionnaires provided information on personal and life-style factors. Height and weight of subjects were measured. Confounding factors and significant covariates were taken into account. For boys and girls, height and body mass index (BMI) showed a negative association with urinary concentration of cadmium and BMI also with serum concentration of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and with the sum of serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 138, 153, and 180 (marker PCBs), whereas BMI showed a positive association with serum concentration of PCB 118. For boys, height showed a negative association with urinary concentration of 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) and positive associations with serum concentrations of HCB and PCB 118. For adults no significant associations between internal exposure and height were observed. For men, BMI showed negative associations with urinary cadmium concentration and with serum levels of marker PCBs and positive associations with serum levels of HCB, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE), PCB 118 and the dioxin fraction of dioxin-like activity. For women, BMI showed a negative association with urinary cadmium concentration, with blood lead concentration and with the concentration of marker PCBs in serum, and a positive association with serum concentrations of HCB, p,p'-DDE and PCB 118. Associations between biological effects and internal exposures were, in terms of the regression coefficient, often stronger at exposures below the median. Environmental exposures to pollutants resulting in "normal" levels of internal exposure were associated with quite substantial differences in body mass index.

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Available from: Kim Croes, May 07, 2014
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    • "A similar pattern was observed with our data, with PCB concentrations decreasing with increasing BMI (Table 2a). Accumulation in body fat deposits in those subjects with a higher BMI is one of the likely causes for this negative association (Dhooge et al., 2010). One of our critical concerns is to determine how much human serum PCB levels have decreased since the ban. "
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    ABSTRACT: This manuscript presents the levels of six indicator polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (IUPAC nos. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180) in the serum of 1880 individuals from a representative sample of the Spanish working population recruited between March 2009 and July 2010. Three out of the six PCBs studied (180, 153 and 138) were quantified in more than 99% of participants. PCB 180 was the highest contributor, followed by PCBs 153 and 138, with relative abundances of 42.6%, 33.2% and 24.2%, respectively. In contrast, PCBs 28 and 52 were detected in only 1% of samples, whereas PCB 101 was detectable in 6% of samples. The geometric mean (GM) for ΣPCBs138/153/180 was 135.4 ng/g lipid (95% CI: 121.3–151.2 ng/g lipid) and the 95th percentile was 482.2 ng/g lipid. Men had higher PCB blood concentrations than women (GMs 138.9 and 129.9 ng/g lipid respectively). As expected, serum PCB levels increased with age and frequency of fish consumption, particularly in those participants younger than 30 years of age. The highest levels we found were for participants from the Basque Country, whereas the lowest concentrations were found for those from the Canary Islands. The Spanish population studied herein had similar levels to those found previously in Greece and southern Italy, lower levels than those in France and central Europe, and higher PCB levels than those in the USA, Canada and New Zealand. This paper provides the first baseline information regarding PCB exposure in the Spanish adult population on a national scale. The results will allow us to establish reference levels, follow temporal trends and identify high-exposure groups, as well as monitor implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Spain.
    Science of The Total Environment 09/2014; 493:834-844. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.077 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    • "Adolescents (14–15 yr) were already included in the biomonitoring program of the first Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS I), performed between 2002 and 2006. However, only lipophilic compounds, such polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorinated pesticides, were measured in serum and were correlated with various health effects, including endocrinedisrupting effects (Croes et al., 2009; Dhooge et al., 2010). During the second Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS II), performed between 2007 and 2012, new chemicals were added in the biomonitoring program including personal care products (Den Hond et al., 2013), BPA and phthalates. "
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    ABSTRACT: As part of the second Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS II), bisphenol-A (BPA) and different phthalate metabolites were analyzed, for the first time, in the urine of 210 adolescents in Flanders, Belgium. All chemicals had a detection frequency above 90%. For all compounds, except the sum of DEHP, highest levels were detected during spring. Average values for the Flemish adolescents were in an agreement with concentrations found in different international studies, all confirming the ubiquity of BPA and phthalate exposure. There was a significant correlation between BPA and the different phthalate metabolites (r between 0.26 and 0.39; p<0.01). Shared sources of exposure to BPA and phthalates, such as food packaging, were suggested to be responsible for this positive correlation. Different determinants of exposure were evaluated in relation to the urinary concentrations of these chemicals. For BPA, a significant association was observed with household income class, smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. For phthalates, the following significant associations were observed: age (MBzP), educational level of the adolescent (MBzP), equivalent household income (MnBP), use of personal care products (MnBP and MBzP), wall paper in house (MnBP and MBzP) and use of local vegetables (MnBP and MBzP).
    Environmental Research 08/2014; 134C:110-117. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2014.07.020 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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    • "Evidence in humans and experimental animals suggests that cadmium disrupts steroidogenesis, particularly in the placenta, and acts as an endocrine-disrupting chemical, capable of mimicking or inhibiting the functions of endogenous estradiol (55). Cadmium exposure in adolescents living in Belgium was associated with decreased height and body mass index, as well as lower circulating levels of estradiol and testosterone in the blood (56, 57). Additionally, in experimental animals, high doses of cadmium have been found to lower plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1, a hormone critical for childhood growth (58). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this prospective cohort study, based on 1,505 mother-infant pairs in rural Bangladesh, we evaluated the associations between early-life exposure to arsenic, cadmium, and lead, assessed via concentrations in maternal and child urine, and children's weights and heights up to age 5 years, during the period 2001-2009. Concurrent and prenatal exposures were evaluated using linear regression analysis, while longitudinal exposure was assessed using mixed-effects linear regression. An inverse association was found between children's weight and height, age-adjusted z scores, and growth velocity at age 5 years and concurrent exposure to cadmium and arsenic. In the longitudinal analysis, multivariable-adjusted attributable differences in children's weight at age 5 years were -0.33 kg (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.60, -0.06) for high (≥95th percentile) arsenic exposure and -0.57 kg (95% CI: -0.88, -0.26) for high cadmium exposure, in comparison with children with the lowest exposure (≤5th percentile). Multivariable-adjusted attributable differences in height were -0.50 cm (95% CI: -1.20, 0.21) for high arsenic exposure and -1.6 cm (95% CI: -2.4, -0.77) for high cadmium exposure. The associations were apparent primarily among girls. The negative effects on children's growth at age 5 years attributable to arsenic and cadmium were of similar magnitude to the difference between girls and boys in terms of weight (-0.67 kg, 95% CI: -0.82, -0.53) and height (-1.3 cm, 95% CI: -1.7, -0.89).
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