Public health and chronic low chlordecone exposure in Guadeloupe, Part 1: hazards, exposure-response functions, and exposuresReport as inadecuate

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Environmental Health

, 15:75

Global Environment


BackgroundInhabitants of Guadeloupe are chronically exposed to low dose of chlordecone via local food. The corresponding health impacts have not been quantified. Nevertheless the public authority implemented an exposure reduction program in 2003. We develop methods for quantifying the health impacts of chlordecone and present the results in 2 articles: 1. hazard identification, exposure-response functions ERF and exposure in Guadeloupe, 2. Health impacts and benefits of exposure reduction. Here is the first article.

MethodsRelevant data are extracted from publications searched in Medline and Toxline. Available knowledges on mode of action and key-event hazards of chlordecone are used to identify effects of chlordecone that could occur at low dose. Then a linear ERF is derived for each possible effect. From epidemiological data, ERF is the delta relative risk RR-1 divided by the corresponding delta exposure. From animal studies, ERF is the benchmark response 10 % divided by the best benchmark dose modeled with BMDS2.4.0. Our goal is to obtain central values for the ERF slopes, applicable to typical human populations, rather than lower or upper bounds in the most sensitive species or sex.

ResultsWe derive ERFs for 3 possible effects at chronic low chlordecone dose: cancers, developmental impairment, and hepatotoxicity. Neurotoxicity in adults is also a possible effect at low dose but we lack quantitative data for the ERF derivation. A renal toxicity ERF is derived for comparison purpose. Two ERFs are based on epidemiological studies: prostate cancer in men aged >44y 0.0019 per μg-Lblood and altered neurodevelopment in boys −0.32 QIpoint per μg-Lcord-blood. Two are based on animal studies: liver cancer 2.69 per mg-kg-d, and renal dysfunction in women 0.0022 per mg-kg-d.

ConclusionThe methodological framework developed here yields ERFs for central risk estimates for non-genotoxic effects of chemicals; it is robust with regard to models used. This framework can be used generally to derive ERFs suitable for risk assessment and for cost-benefit analysis of public health decisions.

KeywordsChlordecone Low-dose Mode of action Key-events Exposure-response function Risk assessment Non-mutagenic agent Endocrine disrupter Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12940-016-0160-x contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Vincent Nedellec - Ari Rabl - William Dab


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