Predictors of serum dioxin levels among adolescent boys in Chapaevsk, Russia: a cross-sectional pilot study. Environ Health 4:8-21

Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, I-1405, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 2.71). 02/2005; 4(1):8. DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-4-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Toxicological studies and limited human studies have demonstrated associations between exposure to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and adverse developmental and reproductive health effects. Given that children may be particularly susceptible to reproductive and developmental effects of organochlorines, and the paucity of information available regarding childhood exposures to dioxins in particular, we undertook a pilot study to describe the distribution of, and identify potential predictors of exposure to, dioxin-like compounds and dioxins among adolescent boys in Chapaevsk, Russia. The pilot study was also designed to guide the development of a large prospective cohort study on the relationship of exposure to PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs with growth and pubertal development in peri-pubertal Chapaevsk boys.
221 boys age 14 to 17 participated in the pilot study. Each of the boys, with his mother, was asked to complete a nurse-administered detailed questionnaire on medical history, diet, and lifestyle. The diet questions were used to measure the current and lifetime consumption of locally grown or raised foods. Blood samples from 30 of these boys were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for analysis of dioxins, furans and PCBs.
The median (25th, 75th percentile) concentrations for total PCDDs, PCDFs and coplanar PCBs were 95.8 pg/g lipids (40.9, 144), 33.9 pg/g lipids (20.4, 61.8), and 120 pg/g lipids (77.6, 157), respectively. For WHO-TEQs, the median (25th, 75th percentile) for total PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs were 0.29 (0.1, 9.14), 7.98 (5.27, 12.3), and 7.39 (4.51, 11.9), respectively. Although TCDD was largely non-detectable, two boys had high TCDD levels (17.9 and 21.7 pg/g lipid). Higher serum levels of sum of dioxin-like compounds and sum of dioxin TEQs were positively associated with increased age, consumption of fish, local meats other than chicken, PCB 118, and inversely with weeks of gestation.
The total TEQs among Chapaevsk adolescents were higher than most values previously reported in non-occupationally exposed populations of comparable or even older ages. Dietary consumption of local foods, as well as age and weeks of gestation, predicted dioxin exposure in this population.

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    • "Study nurses administered a validated Russian Institute of Nutrition FFQ that was modified to assess local food consumption (Hauser et al. 2005). The FFQ included questions on the usual frequency of consumption and portion sizes (classified based on photographs) of > 70 food items consumed during the previous year (Martinchik et al. 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have evaluated predictors of childhood exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), a class of lipophilic persistent chemicals. To identify predictors of serum OCP concentrations -- hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), and p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) -- among boys in Chapaevsk, Russia. Between 2003-2005, 499 boys ages 8-9 years were recruited in a prospective cohort. The initial study visit included a physical exam, blood collection, health, lifestyle, and food-frequency questionnaires, and determination of residential distance from a local factory complex that produced HCB and β-HCH. Fasting serum samples were analyzed for OCPs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. General linear regression models were used to identify predictors of the boys' serum HCB, β-HCH, and p,p'-DDE concentrations. Among 355 boys with OCP measurements, median serum HCB, β-HCH, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were 158, 167, and 284 ng/g lipid respectively. Lower body mass index, longer breastfeeding duration, and local dairy consumption were associated with higher concentrations of OCPs. Boys who lived <2 km from the factory complex had 64% (95% CI: 37, 96) and 57% (95% CI: 32, 87) higher mean HCB and β-HCH concentrations than boys who lived ≥5 km away, respectively. Living >3 years in Chapaevsk predicted higher β-HCH concentrations, and having parents who lacked a high school education predicted higher p,p'-DDE concentrations. Among this cohort of pre-pubertal Russian boys, predictors of serum OCPs included consumption of local dairy products, longer local residence, and residential proximity to the local factory complex.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 08/2013; 121(11-12). DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306480 · 7.03 Impact Factor
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    • "volume 117 | number 10 | October 2009 • Environmental Health Perspectives serum (Akhmedkhanov et al. 2002; Hauser et al. 2005) and breast milk (Sergeyev et al. 2008) compared with non-occupationally exposed populations in other parts of Russia, Europe, and the United States. "
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 10/2009; 117(10):1593-9. DOI:10.1289/ehp.0800223 · 7.03 Impact Factor
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    • "The examples above highlight the fact that contemporary food contamination and associated human exposure remains closely associated with chlorine 7 producing/using industries and in particular organochlorine products or their associated produced wastes. While local food or human contamination has been reported for some PCDD/F and PCB contaminated sites (see above and, for example, Balzer et al. 2007; Braga et al. 2002; Chan et al. 2007; Evers et al. 1997; Hauser et al. 2005; Johansen et al. 1996; Karouna-Renier et al. 2007; Mendoza et al. 2006; Persson et al. 2006; Revich et al. 2004; Revich and Shelepchikov 2007; Ruus et al. 2006; Schmid et al. 2003; Turrio- Baldassarri et al. 2007), a comprehensive investigation of PCDD/F exposure from the numerous reservoir sources via the food chain and other pathways (see Fig. 2 "
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    ABSTRACT: Background, aim and scope Once they have been generated, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can persist in soils and sediments and in waste repositories for periods extending from decades to centuries. In 1994, the US EPA concluded that contaminated sites and other reservoirs are likely to become the major source of contemporary pollution problems with these substances. With this in mind, this article is the first in a new series in ESPR under the title ‘Case Studies on Dioxin and POP Contaminated Sites—Contemporary and Future Relevance and Challenges’, which will address this important issue. The series will document various experiences from sites contaminated with PCDD/F and other POPs. This article provides an overview of the content of the articles comprising the series. In addition, it provides a review of the subject in its own right and identifies the key issues arising from dioxin/POP-contaminated sites. Additionally, it highlights the important conclusions that can be drawn from these examples. The key aim of this article and of the series as a whole is to provide a comprehensive overview of the types of PCDD/F contaminated sites that exist as a result of historical activities. It details the various processes whereby these sites became contaminated and attempts to evaluate their contemporary relevance as sources of PCDD/Fs and other POPs. It also details the various strategies used to assess these historical legacies of contamination and the concepts developed, or which are under development, to effect their remediation. Main features Special sessions on ‘Contaminated sites—Cases, remediation, risk and policy’ were held at the DIOXIN conferences in 2006 and 2007, and this theme will be continued at DIOXIN 2008 to be held in Birmingham. Selected cases from the approximately 70 contributions made to these sessions, together with some additional invited case studies are outlined together with the key issues they raise. By evaluating these cases and adding details of experiences published in the current literature, an overview will be given of the different features and challenges of dioxin and POP-contaminated sites. Results This article provides a systematic categorisation of types of PCDD/F and POP-contaminated sites. These are categorised according to the chemical or manufacturing process, which generated the PCDD/Fs or POPs and also includes the use and disposal aspects of the product life cycle in question. The highest historical PCDD/F and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination burdens have arisen as a result of the production of chlorine and of chlorinated organic chemicals. In particular, the production of chlorinated pesticides, PCBs and the related contaminated waste streams are identified being responsible for historical releases of toxic equivalents (TEQs) at a scale of many tonnes. Along with such releases, major PCDD/F contaminated sites have been created through the application or improper disposal of contaminated pesticides, PCBs and other organochlorine chemicals, as well through the recycling of wastes and their attempted destruction. In some extreme examples, PCDD/F contaminated sites have also resulted from thermal processes such as waste incinerators, secondary metal industries or from the recycling or deposition of specific waste (e.g. electronic waste or car shredder wastes), which often contain chlorinated or brominated organic chemicals. The examples of PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB contamination of fish in European rivers or the impact of contaminated sites upon fishing grounds and upon other food resources demonstrate the relevance of these historical problems to current and future human generations. Many of the recent food contamination problems that have emerged in Europe and elsewhere demonstrate how PCDD/F and dioxin like PCBs from historical sources can directly contaminate human and animal feedstuffs and indeed highlight their considerable contemporary relevance in this respect. Accordingly, some key experiences and lessons learnt regarding the production, use, disposal and remediation of POPs from the contaminated sites are summarised. Discussion An important criterion for evaluating the significance and risks of PCDD/Fs and other POPs at contaminated sites is their present or future potential for mobility. This, in turn, determines to a large degree their propensity for off-site transport and environmental accessibility. The detailed evaluation of contaminated site cases reveals different site-specific factors, which influence the varied pathways through which poor water-soluble POPs can be mobilised. Co-contaminants with greater water solubility are also typically present at such sites. Hence, pumping of groundwater (pump and treat) is often required in addition to attempting to physically secure a site. At an increasing number of contaminated sites, securing measures are failing after relatively short time spans compared to the time horizon, which applies to persistent organic pollutant contamination. Due to the immense costs and challenges associated with remediation of contaminated sites ‘monitored natural attenuation’ is increasingly gaining purchase as a conceptual remediation approach. However, these concepts may well prove limited in their practical application to contaminated sites containing persistent organic pollutants and other key pollutants like heavy metals. Conclusions It is inevitable, therefore, that dioxin/POP-contaminated sites will remain of contemporary and future relevance. They will continue to represent an environmental issue for future generations to address. The securing and/or remediation of dioxin/POP-contaminated sites is very costly, generally in the order of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Secured landfills and secured production sites need to be considered as constructions not made for ‘eternity’ but built for a finite time scale. Accordingly, they will need to be controlled, supervised and potentially repaired/renewed. Furthermore, the leachates and groundwater impacted by these sites will require ongoing monitoring and potential further remediation. These activities result in high maintenance costs, which are accrued for decades or centuries and should, therefore, be compared to the fully sustainable option of complete remediation. The contaminated site case studies highlight that, while extensive policies and established funds for remediation exist in most of the industrialised western countries, even these relatively well-regulated and wealthy countries face significant challenges in the implementation of a remediation strategy. This highlights the fact that ultimately only the prevention of contaminated sites represents a sustainable solution for the future and that the Polluter Pays Principle needs to be applied in a comprehensive way to current problems and those which may emerge in the future. Recommendations and perspectives With the continuing shift of industrial activities in developing and transition economies, which often have poor regulation (and weak self-regulation of industries), additional global challenges regarding POPs and other contaminated sites may be expected. In this respect, a comprehensive application of the “polluter pays principle” in these countries will also be a key to facilitate the clean-up of contaminated areas and the prevention of future contaminated sites. The threats and challenges of contaminated sites and the high costs of securing/remediating the problems highlight the need for a comprehensive approach based upon integrated pollution prevention and control. If applied to all polluting (and potentially polluting) industrial sectors around the globe, such an approach will prove to be both the cheapest and most sustainable way to underpin the development of industries in developing and transition economies
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 07/2008; 15(5):363-393. DOI:10.1007/s11356-008-0024-1 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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