Serum levels of organochlorine pesticides in the French adult population: the French National Nutrition and Health Study (ENNS), 2006-2007

Publié le 15 Février 2014
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

BACKGROUND: although most organochlorine (OC) pesticides were banned in France in the 1970s and 1980s, they remain a source of public concern. Because of their high persistence in the environment, they are still detected in foodstuffs, leading to continued human exposure. The purpose of this study was to assess the distribution of serum organochlorine (OC) pesticides in the French adult population and to identify the main risk factors for p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl dichlorethylene (DDE), ²-hexachlorocyclohexane (²-HCH) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). METHOD: the selected OC pesticides (HCB, DDE, DDT, ±-HCH, ²-HCB and ³-HCH) were measured in serum samples collected in 2006-2007 from 386 persons (aged 18-74years) randomly selected among the participants in the clinical and biological component of the French Nutrition and Health Survey (Etude Nationale Nutrition Santé [ENNS]), a cross-sectional survey carried out in the general population. Collected data included biological samples, socio-demographic characteristics, and data about environmental and occupational exposure factors. RESULTS: of the six OC pesticides investigated, the highest concentrations were observed for HCB, ²-HCH and DDE. Median serum concentrations were as follows: 22.8ng/g lipid for HCB, 0.74 and 27.0ng/g lipid, respectively, for ±- and ß-HCH, and 3.8 and 104.6ng/g lipid, respectively, for DDT and DDE. Lindane (³-HCH) was detected in approximately 10% of the sample. OC pesticide levels in serum in French adults were higher (except for DDT and DDE) than those observed in American, Canadian and German populations and generally lower than or in the same range as those observed in other European countries. The low serum DDT/DDE ratio in the present study (3.7%) would suggest that the concentrations observed for these two OC pesticides were mainly the result of past exposure. The most important predictors of serum DDE, HCB and ²-HCH concentrations among the French adult population included individual factors (age, gender, BMI, etc.), dietary factors of animal and vegetable origin, and domestic use of pesticides (in vegetable gardens and/or fruit trees). CONCLUSION: for the first time in France, a human biomonitoring study has shown that exposure to OC pesticides remains common in the population. French concentrations were higher (except for DDT and DDE) or were similar to those observed in other developed countries. (R.A.)

Auteur : Saoudi A, Frery N, Zeghnoun A, Bidondo ML, Deschamps V, Goen T, Garnier R, Guldner L
The Science of the total environment, 2014, vol. 472, p. 1089-99