Number of Persistent Organic Pollutants Detected at High Concentrations in Blood Samples of the United States PopulationReport as inadecuate

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Human exposure to environmental chemicals as persistent organic pollutants POPs is usually assessed considering each pollutant individually, with little attention to concentrations of mixtures in individuals or social groups. Yet, it may be relatively common for humans to have low and high concentrations of numerous POPs. The study objectives were to analyze the number of POPs detected per person at high concentrations in the U.S. population, and the associations between such type of indicators and socioeconomic factors as gender, race - ethnicity, education, and poverty level. From 91 POPs analyzed in serum samples of 4,739 individuals in three subsamples of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey NHANES 2003–2004 the last period with valid updated individual data for the compounds considered in the present study, we computed the number of POPs whose serum concentrations were above selected cutoff points. POPs included were 13 organochlorine compounds OCs, 10 polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDEs, the polybrominated biphenyl PBB 153, 38 polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs, 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans PCDDs-Fs, and 12 perfluorinated compounds PFCs. Over 13% of participants had ≥10 of the 37 most detected POPs each at a concentration in the top decile P90. Over 30% of subjects with total toxic equivalency TEQ ≥P75, had ≥10 of 24 POPs not included in TEQ calculations at concentrations ≥P90. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, the adjusted odds ratio of having ≥10 of the 37 POPs at P90 was 9.2 for non-Hispanic blacks and 0.18 for Mexican Americans. Poverty, body mass index, age, and gender were also independently associated with having ≥10 POPs in the top decile. More than one tenth of the US population may have ≥10 POPs each at concentrations in the top decile. Such pattern is nine times more frequent in Non-Hispanic blacks and four times less frequent in Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic whites.

Author: José Pumarega , Magda Gasull, Duk-Hee Lee, Tomàs López, Miquel Porta



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