We have measured non-ortho-substituted (coplanar) polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels as well as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF) levels in human adipose tissue and serum collected in Atlanta, Georgia. The results show that the concentrations of the coplanar PCBs can be more than an order of magnitude higher than the concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Our measurements in pooled serum collected in 1982, 1988, and 1989 show a decrease in coplanar PCB levels from 1982 to 1989. We found that the pattern of relative amounts of coplanar PCBs in adipose tissue varied greatly from person to person unlike the PCDD and PCDF patterns, which were more nearly the same. Age was significantly correlated with the concentrations of 2,3,7,8-TCDD,3,3'4'4'-PCB, 3,3',4,4',5-PCB, and 3,3'4,4',5,5'-PCB in adipose tissue. We also measured levels of the mono- and di-ortho chlorine substituted PCBs in human serum. The levels for some of these PCB congeners were three orders of magnitude higher than the coplanar PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs. We used the international toxicity equivalency factors (TEFs) for PCDDs and PCDFs and the TEFs proposed by Safe for PCBs to calculate the 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalents. Four PCBs (3,3',4,4'5-; 2,3',4,4',5-;2,3,3',4,4'-;2,3,3',4,4',5-)make a larger contribution than 2,3,7,8-TCDD, while four other PCBs (3,3',4,4,'5,5'-; 2,2',3,4,4',5'-; 2,2',4,4',5,5'-; 2,2',3,4,4',5,5'-) make nearly the same contribution as 2,3,7,8-TCDD, The mono-ortho-chlorine substituted 2,2',4,4',5-PCB, however, is the major contributor to the total 2,3,7,8-TCDD equivalents in general population samples from the United States, Sweden, and Japan. The PCDDs are the second most significant contributor in the US. samples, whereas the coplanar PCBs are the second most significant contributor in samples from Sweden and Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis