Associations of organochlorines with endogenous hormones in male Great Lakes fish consumers and nonconsumers

Mary E. Turyk, Henry A. Anderson, Sally Freels, Robert Chatterton, Larry L. Needham, Donald G. Patterson, Dyan N. Steenport, Lynda Knobeloch, Pamela Imm, Victoria W. Persky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


This study investigated the relationships of steroid and thyroid hormones with total noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), total toxic equivalents (TEQs) from dioxins-like organochlorines, and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) in 56 male frequent and infrequent Great Lakes sport caught fish consumers. Significant negative associations were found for triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)-bound testosterone with PCBs, for TSH with total TEQs, and for estrone sulfate with DDE, adjusting for age, body mass index, and medication use. Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, free testosterone, and SHBG were not significantly associated with organochlorines. Models that accounted for exposure to both PCBs and TEQs predicted T4, estrone sulfate, and SHBG-bound testosterone better than models that included either PCBs or TEQs alone, with the lowest hormone levels occurring in the participants with both higher PCB levels and lower TEQ levels. These data suggest that exposure to PCBs, dioxin-like organochlorines, and DDE, alone and potentially in combination, may be associated with effects on the endocrine system in adult males. Further studies should help delineate specific exposure effects and effects of exposures to other common environmental contaminants alone and in combination with PCBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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