Persistent organochlorine pollutants in human serum of 50-65 years old women in the Flanders Environmental and Health Study (FLEHS). Part 2: Correlations among PCBs, PCDD/PCDFs and the use of predictive markers

A. Covaci, G. Koppen, R. van Cleuvenbergen, P. Schepens, G. Winneke, N. van Larebeke, V. Nelen, R.F.M. Vlietinck, G. Schoeters

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Abstract

Persistent organochlorine pollutants in human serum of 50-65 years old women in the Flanders Environmental and Health Study (FLEHS). Part 2: Correlations among PCBs, PCDD/PCDFs and the use of predictive markers.

Covaci A, Koppen G, Van Cleuvenbergen R, Schepens P, Winneke G, van Larebeke N, Nelen V, Vlietinck R, Schoeters G.

Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen (Wilrijk), Belgium. covaci@uia.ua.ac.be

In 1999, the FLEHS was set by the Flemish Ministry of Health, Belgium to assess pollutant concentrations and related health effect biomarkers in humans living in Flanders. Concentrations of selected organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and furans (PCDF) were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Chemical-Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (CALUX) bioassay in 47 serum pools of 200 women between 50 and 65 years living in two areas of Flanders. Correlation between TEQ values of different groups of compounds were computed in these pool results and it was found that total toxic equivalencies (TEQs) correlated well with the values of the groups of contributing compounds: mono-ortho PCBs (r = 0.77), non-ortho PCBs (r = 0.65) and PCDD/Fs (r = 0.88). The total TEQ was lower correlated to the CALUX-TEQ (r = 0.57). When calculating associations between those classes of compounds in the two studied regions separately, they were all higher correlated in the urban area compared to the more rural region. High correlation coefficients (r > 0.80) were also calculated between individual compounds and groups of compounds. It was suggested that in this studied background-exposed population, some compounds could be good predictors for a group: e.g. PCB 153 for indicator and total PCBs, PCB 118 for total PCB TEQ, PCB 156 for mono-ortho PCB-TEQs and total TEQ, 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF for PCDD/F TEQs and total TEQs. This means that in pooled serum samples correlations between persistent organochlorine compounds are as strong as for individual POP measurements observed in earlier studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-832
Number of pages5
JournalChemosphere
Volume48
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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