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Organochlorine Pesticides And Polychlorinated Biphenyl Residues In Foodstuffs And Human Tissues From China: Status Of Contamination, Historical Trend, And Human Dietary Exposure

H. Nakata, M. Kawazoe, K. Arizono, S. Abe, T. Kitano, H. Shimada, W. Li, Xucheng Ding
Published 2002 · Medicine, Biology

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Concentrations of persistent organochlorine pesticides such as DDTs, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were determined in a wide variety of foodstuffs and human tissues collected from Shanghai and its vicinity in China in 2000–2001. Among the organochlorines analyzed, DDT and its metabolites were prominent compounds in most of the foodstuffs. In particular, mussels contained noticeable residues of DDTs (34,000 ng/g lipid weight), which are one to three orders greater than those reported levels in bivalves from other Asian countries. Concentrations of HCHs, CHLs, HCB, and PCBs in foodstuffs were generally low, suggesting small amounts of inputs into the environment. Temporal trends examined by comparing the results of previous studies of organochlorine levels in Chinese foodstuffs in 1970s and 1992 revealed a greater amounts of declines of DDTs and HCHs residues and the average daily intakes during the past 30 years. In contrast, very high concentrations of DDTs and HCHs were detected in human tissues from Shanghai, with the maximum values as high as 19,000 ng/g lipid weight (mean: 7,600 ng/g) and 17,000 ng/g (mean: 7,400 ng/g), respectively. Considering that foodstuffs are a main source of human exposure to contaminants, the greater concentrations of DDTs and HCHs in Chinese people might be due to past extensive usage of these compounds as agricultural pesticides. Continuous monitoring and epidemiological studies of organochlorine pesticides in humans are warranted in China. To our knowledge, this is the first report to present the residue levels of persistent organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in human tissues of China.
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