Health risks and source identification of dietary exposure to indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Lanzhou, China


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widely present in multiple environmental media even long after the phaseout, posing a health risk to the general population. Dietary intake is the major exposure route of PCBs; however, information is limited regarding PCBs in food that people directly consume. This study aims to measure personal exposure to indicator PCBs, evaluate the health risks, and identify their sources in a typical metropolitan city in China. Multi-day food samples were collected from 21 subjects in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, in two seasons using the duplicate plate method. Samples were extracted and analysed for seven indicator PCBs using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Average daily doses (ADDs) of ?7PCBs were estimated using Monte Carlo analysis with food intake information. Results show that PCB-118 and PCB-180 were the major congeners in food samples with average concentrations of 1.42 and 1.11 ng/g, respectively. The average (±?SD) ADD of ?7PCBs was 26.47?±?22.10 ng/kg day among adults aged 18-69 years and displayed small variation across age groups. Comparing with the chronic RfD of 7 ng/kg day, 67% of people had their ADDs exceeding this threshold. The median cancer risk was 5.52?×?10-5, and 51% of residents had risks exceeding the action level of 10-4. The principal component analysis identified waste incineration, gasoline engine production, and leakage of #1 PCBs as the major PCBs sources. In conclusion, a large portion of Lanzhou residents has high non-cancer and cancer risks from dietary exposure to PCBs, which warrants control actions targeting these major sources.

Authors: Kang Y, Cao S, Yan F, Qin N, Wang B, Zhang Y, Shao K, El-Maleh CA, Duan X.
; Full Source: Environmental & Geochemical Health. 2019 Sep 19. doi: 10.1007/s10653-019-00402-7. [Epub ahead of print]