Human exposure to PCBs, PBDEs and bisphenols revealed by hair analysis: A comparison between two adult female populations in China and France.
- Human Biomonitoring Research Unit
Humans are exposed to various anthropogenic chemicals in daily life, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). However, there are limited data on chronic, low-level exposure to such contaminants among the general population. Here hair analysis was used to investigate the occurrence of four polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), seven polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and two bisphenols (BPs) in 204 Chinese women living in the urban areas of Baoding and Dalian and 311 pregnant French women. All the PCBs and PBDEs tested here were more frequently detected in the hair samples of the French women than in those of the Chinese women. In both cohorts, PCB 180 and BDE 47 were the dominant PCB and PBDE congener, respectively. PCB 180 was found in 82% of the French women and 44% of the Chinese women, while the corresponding values of BDE 47 were 54% and 11%, respectively. A discriminant analysis further demonstrated the difference in PCBs and PBDEs exposure profile between the two cohorts. These results demonstrate that hair analysis is sufficiently sensitive to detect exposure to these pollutants and highlight differences in exposure between populations even at environmental levels. Although BPA and BPS were found in 100% of the hair samples in both cohorts, the French women had significantly higher levels of BPA and BPS than the Chinese women. The median concentrations of BPA were one order of magnitude higher than BPS in both the Chinese (34.9 versus 2.84 pg/mg) and the French women (118 versus 8.01 pg/mg) respectively. Our results suggest that both French and Chinese populations were extensively exposed to BPA and BPS.