Multivariate models to predict human adipose tissue PCB concentrations in Southern Spain

Juan P. Arrebola, Mariana F. Fernandez, Miquel Porta, Jorge Rosell, Rafael Martinez de la Ossa, Nicolas Olea, Piedad Martin-Olmedo

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61 Citations (Scopus)


The use of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has been severely restricted due to their high toxicity and persistency in the environment. However, the presence of PCBs in human tissues nowadays is still been reported worldwide. Background exposure predictors of the human PCB body burden require more precise understanding. In the present study, PCB congeners 138, 153, and 180 were quantified in adult adipose tissue samples (n=387) from Granada Province (Southern Spain) and data on potential predictors of PCB concentrations were gathered by questionnaire. Chemical analysis of the selected congeners was done by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, and multivariate analyses were performed stratifying by gender. PCB residues were quantified in 92% (PCB 153), 90% (PCB 180), and 86% (PCB 138) of the population. Geometric mean concentrations were 161.65 ± 4.41. ng/g lipid for PCB 153, 111.62 ± 6.27. ng/g lipid for PCB 180, and 38.41 ± 8.61. ng/g lipid for PCB 138. Multivariate models explained 30-36% of the variability in PCB concentrations. Age and body mass index (BMI) predicted exposure in both males and females and were positively correlated with the concentration of the three PCB congeners. Occupation and diet predicted exposure in the males, whereas only dietary predictors were observed in the females. Further in-depth studies are required to investigate the influence of dietary habits on the bioaccumulation of PCBs and to evaluate the impact of policies aimed at reducing human exposure. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-713
JournalEnvironment international
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Exposure assessment
  • Gender
  • Human adipose tissue
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls


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