Coplanar PCBs in human serum were measured by high-resolution gas chromatography/isotope-dilution high-resolution mass spectrometry in 46 pulp and paper mill workers and 16 community residents with no specific known source of PCB exposure. The relative contribution of coplanar PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs to the total 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxicity equivalents (TEQs) were compared using the toxic equivalency factors proposed by Safe  and the factors recently proposed by WHO . The mean concentrations of PCB-126 and PCB-169 were higher in paper mill workers than in community residents. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Serum PCB-126, but not PCB-169, was correlated with body mass index (Spearman's r = 0.40, p = 0.002). Serum PCB-169, but not PCB-126, was correlated with age (Spearman's r = 0.54, p = 0.0001). Multiple linear regression analysis for log-transformed combined PCBs showed that age (p = 0.008), body mass index (p = 0.031), and eating locally caught fish (p = 0.019) were statistically significant predictors. The majority of the total TEQ in serum is due to PCDDs (63%), whereas PCDFs account for 21% and coplanar PCBs account for 15% when calculated using the TEFs proposed by Safe. The percent contributions from PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs were 66%, 24%, and 10% respectively when calculated based on the TEFs proposed by WHO. Age, body mass index, and consumption of locally caught fish are significant predictors for coplanar PCB levels in human serum. Serum PCDDs were the major contributors to the total 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalent toxicity in this study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis