BACKGROUND: Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organochlorine compounds bioaccumulating in human tissues. Body burden of organochlorines may be influenced by individual characteristics such as age, weight variations, breastfeeding, dietary habits and place of residence. OBJECTIVES: To assess the current serum concentrations of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p'-DDE), the main DDT breakdown product, and of PCBs in women from two French administrative areas (Ille-et-Vilaine and Côte d'Or). To identify determinants of the current serum levels among individual characteristics related to intake, metabolism, and excretion of organochlorines. METHODS: We measured serum p,p'-DDE and PCB levels in 1055 general population women who were recruited in 2005-2007 to serve as controls in a case-control study on breast cancer. Associations between organochlorine levels and age, current body mass index (BMI), BMI change during the last 10 years, dietary habits, breastfeeding history, residence area and education were assessed in multivariate analyses. RESULTS: Median concentrations of p,p'-DDE and total PCBs were 85 and 240ng/g lipid, respectively. Based on multivariate analyses, the main predictors of high p,p'-DDE levels included age and frequent consumption of saltwater fish in women below 50 years, and high BMI in older women. Total PCB levels increased markedly with age. Among older women, other important predictors of high PCB levels included frequent consumption of saltwater fish and low BMI. Our results are also suggestive of an inverse association between PCB levels and BMI gain during the last ten years. Women in Côte d'Or had significantly higher PCB levels than women in Ille-et-Vilaine. CONCLUSION: The patterns of associations between determinants and serum organochlorine concentrations suggest that human PCB contamination is still ongoing in France. The most important predictors of serum p,p'-DDE and PCB concentrations among French women include age, body mass index, dietary habits, and place of residence.
Auteur : Bachelet D, Truong T, Verner MA, Arveux P, Kerbrat P, Charlier C, Guihenneuc Jouyaux C, Guenel P
Environmental research, 2011, n°. 6, p. 861-70