Elena De Felip

Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma, Latium, Italy

Are you Elena De Felip?

Claim your profile

Publications (51)111.58 Total impact

  • Epidemiology 01/2009; 20. · 5.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) were determined in samples of bovine and ovine milk collected in farms located in the province of Grosseto, Tuscany, in the vicinity of two incineration plants as well as in farms located in areas with presumable background levels of contamination. Samples of feedstuffs of local origin used in the investigated farms were also collected and analysed. The cumulative levels of PCDDs, PCDFs, and dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) in feedstuffs ranged from 0.25 to 0.61 pg WHO-TE/g fresh weight (fw) in the farms under impact from incinerator emissions and from 0.21 to 0.34 pg WHO-TE/g fw in the control area farms. The sums of the six non-dioxin-like indicator PCB (NDL-PCB) congeners were 0.13 to 9.3 ng/g fw and 1.2 to 1.9 ng/g fw, respectively. In milk samples, the levels detected were 0.71 to 2.9 pg WHO-TE/g fat and 0.52 to 0.59 pg WHO-TE/g fat in farms under impact from the incinerators and in the control area farms, respectively. The corresponding sums of the six indicator PCB congeners were 1.4 to 8.2 ng/g fat and 0.90 to 1.6 ng/g fat. In all samples, contamination levels were below the limits set by the European Community (EC; Commission Directive 2006/13/EC and Commission Regulation 1881/2006/EC.) No relevant differences were found between samples collected in potentially exposed areas and control areas for total toxic equivalents and cumulative analytic levels of PCDDs, PCDFs, DL-PCBs, and NDL-PCBs (p > 0.05, Mann-Whitney U test). Observed levels were in agreement with those found in other countries in areas with background levels of exposure. Congener levels and profiles of PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs in feedstuffs and milk samples that were compared describe congener-specific transfer behavior.
    Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 12/2008; 57(2):397-404. · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast milk monitoring studies of persistent and toxic environmental contaminants are of primary importance for carrying out an adequate risk assessment at the actual levels of human exposure and represent a major source of information on infant perinatal exposure. Milk specimens from mothers of the general population of the Venice and Rome areas were collected over the 1998-2001 period, pooled, and analyzed for selected persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorodibenzodioxins (PCDDs), polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, hexachlorobenzene), and polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and the heavy metals Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Sn, and Zn. The goal was to verify whether mother milk from the Venice area, whose lagoon is partly under direct industrial impact, had a contaminant load greater than that from the Rome area, primarily urban. For mothers from the Venice area, the correlation between fish and fishery product consumption and contaminant concentrations in milk was also explored, with however inconclusive results. The concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs, dioxin-like PCBs, and organochlorinated pesticides determined in this study were compared with those available from a previous analytical work carried out on 1987 human milk pools of domestic origin: the declining trend of the aforesaid contaminants in milk is confirmed to be in agreement with what was observed in other European countries. The breast milk content of (137)Cs and (40)K radionuclides was also determined and compared with data obtained in other research programmes carried out in Italy: the health risk for breastfed infants was deemed to be not significant.
    Chemosphere 06/2008; 73(1 Suppl):S220-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A pilot study was carried out in Tuscany, Italy, to provide preliminary information on the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), dioxin-like polychlorobiphenyls (DL-PCBs), and selected non-dioxin-like PCBs (NDL-PCBs) in groups of subjects living in the vicinity of two incineration plants. Seventy-four volunteers were enrolled from areas identified as under a potential impact from incinerator emissions and from not exposed areas. No significant differences were observed between subjects living in the two types of areas. Total concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs, and DL-PCBs resulted to be in the range 23-30 pg WHO-TEQ g(-1), lipid base, for subjects in the 27-54 year age groups, while concentrations increased to 40-44 pgTEQ g(-1) for the two 55-67 year age groups. The levels of PCDDs and PCDFs were in good agreement with those observed for unexposed population groups in Italy, while the contribution to total TEQ from DL-PCBs was appreciably higher than those currently observed in the general population in Italy and other countries. As to NDL-PCBs, serum levels of the six "indicator" congeners were in the range 240-300 ng g(-1), lipid base, for subjects in the 27-54 year age groups. A raise in NDL-PCB body burden (430-470 ng g(-1), lipid base) was observed for the two 55+ year age groups, in agreement with the expected age-dependent increase. The findings from this study do not show an incremental exposure to PCDDs and PCDFs in the samples from subjects living around the two incineration plants, whereas PCB congener profiles in all samples suggest a possible impact on the area of interest of industrial activities from near industrial settlements.
    Chemosphere 06/2008; 72(1):25-33. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the fetal environment raises concerns for their possible interferences with the developmental process, resulting into morphological and/or functional impairments of the organism. Human biomonitoring has been widely recognized as the action to be undertaken to characterize children's exposure to environmental pollutants in the different life stages, starting from conception. The main objective of the present study was to analyze the relationship between concentrations assessed in maternal blood versus those present in umbilical cord blood to evaluate if POP levels determined in maternal blood can be considered representative of fetal exposure. Data on POP concentrations determined in maternal blood and umbilical cord blood were retrieved from literature. Studies selected used highly specific analytical techniques, and were published within the last 15 years. Our analysis involved POPs of high toxicological significance, as organochlorinated pesticides, polychlorodibenzodioxins and poliychlorodibenzofurans, polychlorobiphenyls and their hydroxylated metabolites, and polybromodiphenylethers. Linear correlations between maternal and cord blood concentrations, expressed on a lipid base, were observed for most of these pollutants. This result indicates a possible use of data on maternal blood POP levels to quantitatively predict in utero exposure.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 02/2008; 44(3):281-91. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study we investigated the accumulation of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDFs), and the chlorinated pesticides 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethene (DDE), 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane (DDT), and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in the breast muscle, liver, lung, heart and brain tissues of adult common swifts (Apus apus, a long-lived aerial feeder bird). Individuals were collected in an urban area located in Rome during the breeding period. As shown by lipid-base normalized data, in general analytes had a significant minimum concentration in the brain. PCDD and PCDF concentration values in such tissue were approximately one order of magnitude lower than those found in breast muscle, heart, and lung tissues, and as much as two orders of magnitude below the relatively high levels found in the liver. PCB levels followed the same accumulation patterns. Of all analytes, HCB exhibited the most uniform distribution pattern over the five matrices assayed. DDE and DDT were by far the most and the least concentrated pesticide. In the urban environment of Rome, an air-to-swift bioconcentration factor (lipid based) in the order of 5 x 10(6) (2 x 10(5), fresh tissue base) was estimated for PCDDs and PCDFs. Our study suggests that airborne arthropod feeders, such us the common swift, are suitable biomonitors for air quality assessment.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 01/2008; 44(2):187-94. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The results are presented of a survey planned to assess the presence of high concern chemicals in sediments collected in a northern sector of the Adriatic sea neighboring the Venice lagoon. For the assessment, persistent marker chemicals were selected from the families of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorobiphenyls, polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDFs), and chlorinated pesticides. Based on the chemical-specific concentrations and PCDD+PCDF profiles determined in the sediments analyzed, dumping zones appear to have existed approximately 5-6km away from lagoon shoreline. Contamination levels exceed the quality criteria established by the pertinent Italian national regulation at many sampling sites, eventually reflecting ("fingerprinting") industrial activities once performed in the industrial settlement of Porto Marghera within the Venice lagoon. In coastal samples, concentration levels appear to be lower than those determined at offshore sampling sites.
    Chemosphere 09/2007; 68(9):1788-97. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The levels of selected polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in human milk samples from the areas of Venice and Rome, primarily in order to characterize the current levels of infant exposure to PCBs and PBDEs due to breast feeding in Italy. Sixteen non-dioxin-like PCBs, including the traditional indicator congeners, and 11 PBDEs, comprising the relevant PBDE-47, PBDE-99, and PBDE-153, were determined. Congeners were selected for analysis according to their relative abundance in human tissues, toxicological relevance, and diffusion in the environment. Dietary habits of the milk donors were recorded by questionnaires; mothers of the Venice area were classified into three groups according to their consumption of local fish, molluscs, and other fishery products. Sigma(16)(PCBs) and Sigma(11)(PBDEs) (ng g(-1) fat) for the areas of Venice and Rome were respectively, 250-390 and 240, and 1.6-2.8 and 4.1. An increase of fish and fishery product consumption could not be associated with an increase of PCB and PBDE levels in milk.
    Chemosphere 05/2007; 67(9):S301-6. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis is a gynaecological disorder characterized by the presence and growth of endometrial tissue in ectopic sites. In this study we examined the immunological functions of patients with endometriosis and serum level of PCBs and p,p'-DDE to verify the impact of these environmental contaminants on the dysregulation of immune functions. We found that proliferative responses and immunoglobulin production were not dysregulated in patients with endometriosis while NK cell activity was significantly down-regulated in these patients. Moreover, a significant down-regulation of IL-1beta and IL-12 production was found in patients with respect to controls. Serum levels of PCBs and p,p'-DDE were found to be significantly higher in women with endometriosis than in the control group, with respect to the sum of the congeners most prominent in human tissues. In particular, total PCBs concentration in patients with endometriosis and controls was respectively 330 and 160 ng/g fat with respect to the most abundant congeners, while p,p'-DDE concentration was of 770 and 310 ng/g fat. Moreover, we found that normal human PBMC pulsed with PCBs, p,p'-DDE and their combination showed a significant down-regulation of NK cell cytotoxic activity and IL-1beta and IL-12 production. These findings suggest that changes in specific immune parameters correlate with elevated serum PCBs and DDE levels and endometriosis.
    Life Sciences 07/2006; 79(5):491-8. · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis has been hypothesised to be linked to persistent and toxic organochlorinated chemicals. Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds have in particular been associated with the disease, mainly on the basis of experimental studies. Data in women are conflicting. A case-control study on 80 Italian nulliparous women of reproductive age was carried out to assess whether there is a correlation between the presence of endometriosis and blood levels of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), a family of ubiquitary environmental pollutants which comprises congeners with dioxin-like activity. Higher levels of PCBs were found in women with endometriosis. A mean cumulative value of 410 ng g(-1), lipid base, was found in cases versus the value of 250 ng g(-1) observed in the control group (odds ratio for upper tertile 4.0, CI 95% 1.3-13; p = 0.0003). PCB increase involved both dioxin-like (PCBs 105, 118, 156, and 167) and non-dioxin-like congeners (PCBs 101, 138, 153, 170, 180).
    Chemosphere 06/2006; 63(8):1361-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ratification of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a departure point for several considerations on their presence in environmental matrices. In this paper, the Italian situation is presented with emphasis on the most toxic compounds--chemicals with dioxin-like toxic action, and the activity in the area of interest of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. Biotic, as well as abiotic matrices have been taken in consideration and, where possible, a comparation between their contamination levels with the levels reported on similar matrices by other European countries has been reported.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 02/2005; 41(4):487-92. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Compounds with dioxin-like toxicity are suspected to adversely affect human reproduction even at current background exposures. Endometriosis, a gynecological disorder often associated with infertility, has been hypothesized to be linked to dioxins and similar chemicals, a hypothesis supported by the outcome of experimental studies on animal models. Endometriosis severity and incidence in Belgium is one of the highest of the world: in this country, the general population exposure to dioxin-like compounds has been, on average, higher than in most industrialized countries. Here we show the results of a pilot case-control study carried out on 22 Italian and 18 Belgian women of reproductive age, with and without endometriosis. No significant differences were found in dioxin-like compound body burdens between cases and controls on a country basis, whereas the body burdens of the Italian women resulted to be significantly lower than that of the Belgian. In particular, total TEQs in Italian and Belgian women without endometriosis were respectively 18 and 45 pg WHO-TE/g lb.
    Toxicology Letters 05/2004; 150(2):203-9. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on observations in animals, there is an increasing evidence that a number of persistent organochlorine pollutants can alter the endocrine homeostasis, this resulting in toxic effects in particular in the developing organism. However, the role of these chemicals in determining endocrine-related diseases in humans, and possibly a decrease of fertility, is still controversial. Exposure data concerning the human reproductive system are essential for risk assessment. Based on this, the occurrence in follicular fluid of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), 2,3,7,8-chlorosubstituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane (p,p'-DDT) and its metabolites, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) was investigated. With respect to PCBs, the sum of the three most abundant congeners (PCBs 138, 153 and 180) was 1230 ng/g, lipid basis (0.37 ng/g, wet weight). Congener distribution profile overlapped what is usually observed in other human tissues, as blood and milk. PCDDs, PCDFs, p,p'-DDT and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane (p,p'-DDD) were below their determination limits. 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethene (p,p'-DDE) and HCB were detected in concentrations respectively in the order of 700 and 70 ng/g, lipid basis (approximately 0.2 and approximately 0.02 ng/g, wet weight).
    Chemosphere 04/2004; 54(10):1445-9. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Elena De Felip, Anna Maria Ingelido
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human exposure to persistent toxic substances (PTS) occurs daily, mainly through diet. As a consequence of continuous exposure, and because of their biological persistence, PTS are virtually present in all individuals, stored in their fatty tissues. The exposure of the Italian general population to PTS is a fact of relevance from a public health perspective, because of the number of toxic effects associated to these compounds, possibly occurring even at the current background level of exposure. In spite of this, data on PTS concentrations in humans, considered the best dose metric to carry out an adequate risk assessment, are scarce, as shown by the overview of available information we hereafter present. The Convention of Stockholm on persistent organic pollutants (POP), a group of highly toxic PTS, has entered into force last May. This will oblige parties to develop national implementation plans, thus creating a new opportunity to develop more efficient policies to control POP and other PTS present in food, humans and the environment.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 02/2004; 40(4):411-5. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters 09/2003; 144. · 3.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The n-octanol/water partition coefficient (Pow) is one of the most important parameters employed for estimating a chemical's environmental fate and toxicity. The currently adopted test guidelines for its determination do not allow for reliable determination of log Pow greater than 5. The slow-stirring experiment, in contrast, has been demonstrated to provide reliable log Pow data up to log Pow of 8.3. To validate this method and to obtain its approval as an official Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris, France) test guideline, a ring test was performed to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the slow-stirring experiment for determination of log Pow, particularly for highly hydrophobic compounds. Up to 15 volunteer laboratories tested 1,2,3,4-tetrachlorobenzene, hexachlorobenzene. 2,2',3,3',5,5',6,6'-octachlorobiphenyl, and decachlorobiphenyl (4.5 < log Pow < 8.2). The ring-test results for the respective chemicals were 4.62, 5.50, 7.39, and 8.18. The results deviated by less than 0.1 log Pow units from the reference log Pow. In addition, the relative standard deviations of log Pow were less than 2%. Using the protocol of the ring test, log Pow of p,p'-DDT was determined to be 6.24 +/- 0.05 (mean +/- standard deviation). In combination, these results indicate that the slow-stirring method is precise and accurate and, thus, allows for reliable determination of log Pow of highly hydrophobic chemicals.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 06/2003; 22(5):1051-7. · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Dioxin 2002; 01/2002
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: (Alkylphenols: evaluation of the risk to aquatic ecosystems and human health with reference to endocrine effects).--Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are a heterogeneous group of substances that can interfere with many endocrine functions. Their effects have been demonstrated in different taxa and they are suspected to affect human health. Alkylphenols are an important group of EDC. They are formed from the degradation of alkylphenol polyethoxylates in the environment or in the sewage treatment plants. They are generally characterized by a high bioconcentration factor (BCF) and accumulate both in sediments and aquatic species. Alkylphenols (APE) show estrogenic activity: studies on fish and rodents put into evidence on both reproductive and developmental effects. In a recent study, the levels of APE detected in seafood from the Adriatic Sea showed a no negligible human health risk for strong fish consumers.
    Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita 02/2001; 37(4):615-25. · 0.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Major determinants of TCDD half-life in organisms are lipophilicity, metabolism, and hepatic binding sites. In addition, half-life seems to be empirically correlated to organism body weight. In this paper, this correlation is evaluated by a regression analysis of half-life measures and body weight data selected from the literature. Single exposure studies on laboratory mammals and human half-life data were specifically taken in consideration. The analysis outcome appears to be highly significant probably owing to the stability and generally slow metabolism of the substance in the organisms considered. The effect on half-life of factors other than body weight does not seem to influence significantly data dispersion around the regression line. The potential effects of a dose-dependent excretion cannot be excluded as toxicokinetic studies have been usually carried out at high exposure doses.
    Chemosphere 01/2001; 43(4-7):839-44. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • organohalogen compounds. 01/1999; 44:447-452.

Publication Stats

354 Citations
111.58 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1988–2014
    • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
      • Department of Environment and Primary Prevention
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2006–2013
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      • Department of Gynecology-Obstetrics & Urology
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2008–2010
    • Istituto Regina Elena - Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1996
    • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
      • Department of Preventive Medicine & Community Health
      Galveston, TX, United States