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Qin Y.Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Leung C.K.M.,Center Ltd | Leung A.O.W.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Zheng J.S.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Wong M.H.,Hong Kong Baptist University
Chemosphere | Year: 2011

This study aims to investigate levels of POPs in meat, edible oils, nuts, milk and wine collected from Hong Kong. Naphthalene, pp-DDE, beta-, gamma-HCH and PBDE 47 were detected in most of the food items. Goose liver accumulated the highest PAHs (47.9ngg-1 wet wt), DDTs (25.6), HCHs (13.0), PCBs (4.17), PBDEs (468pgg-1 wet wt) among all the selected food. Meat and nut groups had significant (p<0.01 or 0.05) correlations between lipid contents and concentrations of PAHs (meat: r=0.878), HCHs (meat: r=0.753), DDTs (meat: r=0.937; nuts: r=0.968) and PCBs (meat: r=0.832; nut: r=0.946). The concentrations of DDTs, HCHs and PCBs in vegetable oil were lower, but HCHs in fish oil were higher, when compared with other countries. The concentrations of PAHs, DDTs, PCBs and PBDEs in food tested in the present study were all below various safety guidelines. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Qin Y.Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Leung C.K.M.,Center Ltd | Lin C.K.,Red Cross | Leung A.O.W.,Hong Kong Baptist University | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to quantify organic chlorinated pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in blood plasma collected from 111 healthy residents in Hong Kong to assess the levels of these pollutants in the general population during the period of March to April, 2008. Concentrations of these residues in blood plasma obtained from the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Naphthalene, phenanthrene, p,p′-DDE, PCB-180, and PBDE-47 were detected in 100% of the participants. Females had significantly greater concentrations of acenaphthylene (female: 93.3 ng/g lipid; male: 39.8, p < 0.05), anthracene (22.3; 15.3, p < 0.05), fluoranthene (138; 125, p < 0.05), p,p′-DDE, p,p′-DDT, PCB-183, BDE-99 than males. Blood of smokers contained significantly greater (p < 0.05) concentrations of acenaphthene, benzo(a)pyrene, p,p′-DDE, p,p′-DDT, PCB-138, BDE-47, and BDE-99 than did blood of nonsmokers. Positive correlations were found between concentrations of each class of pollutant, with respect to seafood diet habit, Body Mass Index (BMI), and age. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in blood plasma of healthy Hong Kong residents were greater than those of other countries, and it was found that smoking, consumption of a seafood diet, BMI, and age could influence concentrations in human blood. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Tsang H.L.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Wu S.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Leung C.K.M.,Center Ltd | Tao S.,Peking University | Wong M.H.,Hong Kong Baptist University
Environment International | Year: 2011

This study is one of the very few investigating the body burdens of persistent organic pollutants in residents of Hong Kong. Twenty-nine human milk samples and 21 human blood (and cord blood) samples collected from 2005 were analyzed for PAHs, OCPs and PCBs levels. Higher levels of PAHs, DDTs and PCBs were detected in human milk samples when compared to maternal serum and cord serum (PAHs: milk: 1981ngg-1 fat, maternal serum: 1461, cord serum: 1158; DDTs: 3099, 1934, 1556; PCBs: 49, 41, 40). Among the 16 PAHs, naphthalene (human milk: 786ngg-1 fat, maternal serum: 331, cord serum: 348), phenanthrene (361, 144, 193), pyrene (187, 154, 98) and fluoranthene (158, 128, 89) were the major PAHs detected in three human tissues. p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDT were the only metabolites of DDT detected in the three types of human tissues. High detection rate of the p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDT (>90%) were noted in the three types of human samples. On the contrary, low detection frequency of PCBs in human milk (10.7%), maternal serum (1.7%) and cord serum (0.8%) were observed. The correlation coefficients of the PAHs, DDTs and PCBs levels in the three types of human tissues together with fish consumption, maternal age and tissue fat were analyzed. The following significant correlations were observed: Σ DDTs and p,p'-DDE in human milk with consumption of freshwater and marine fish, and maternal age; Σ PCBs in human milk with marine fish consumption, and maternal age; Σ PAHs in human milk with maternal age, respectively. The estimated daily intakes of DDTs by infants indicated that 7 out of 29 of the human milk samples exceeded 20ngg-1day-1, the tolerable daily intake (TDI) proposed by the Health Canada Guideline in terms of DDTs levels. The high intake of DDTs by infants may be of concern as infants are more susceptible to the adverse effects imposed by various environmental contaminants. Human milk is a reliable and comparatively non-invasive tool for monitoring body loading of POPs, which also allows health risk assessment of residual chemicals on our next generation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Leung A.O.W.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Chan J.K.Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Xing G.H.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Xu Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2010

Background, aim and scope: This study is the first to investigate PBDE body burden with regard to the concurrent analyses of multiple human matrices, namely milk, placenta, and hair, collected from a group of childbearing-aged women at an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site to determine the partitioning of PBDEs in these different human matrices and the possible health risks imposed to infants at the e-waste recycling site. Methods and methods: Five sets of milk, placenta, and hair samples were collected from an e-waste site (Taizhou, Zhejiang Province) and a reference site (Lin'an city, Zhejiang Province; 245 km away from Taizhou) in China. The concentrations of total PBDEs in different human tissues were analyzed according to US EPA standard methods. Results: PBDE body burdens of women from the e-waste site (milk 117 ± 191, 8. 89-457 ng/g fat, placenta 19. 5 ± 29. 9, 1. 28-72. 1 ng/g fat, hair 110 ± 210, 8. 47-486 ng/g dry wt.) showed significantly higher levels than those from the reference site (milk 2. 06 ± 0. 94, 1. 0-3. 56 ng/g fat, placenta 1. 02 ± 0. 36, 0. 59-1. 42 ng/g fat, hair 3. 57 ± 2. 03, 1. 56-5. 61 ng/g dry wt.) and were higher than those reported in other studies, due to e-waste recycling operations, especially open burning. On a dry-weight basis, the following trend was found for PBDE among the samples from Taizhou: hair≫milk>placenta. Among the donors, the body burden of an e-waste worker ranked second. Higher brominated BDEs (hepta-BDEs) contributed a significantly greater proportion to total PBDEs in hair of the Taizhou women (20%) than that in milk (2. 9%) and in placenta (2. 6%). The estimated intake of PBDEs of 6-month-old breastfed infants living at the e-waste site was 572 ± 839 ng/kg body wt/day, which was 57 times higher than that of infants from the reference site (10. 1 ± 4. 60 ng/kg body wt/day). Moreover, the maximum calculated value (2,240 ng/kg body wt/day) exceeded the chronic oral reference dose for penta-BDE (2,000 ng/kg/day) of US EPA. Discussion: BDE-47 was the dominant congener accounting for 20-30% in all the individual samples, while higher-brominated congeners, for example, BDE-183 and BDE-190, contributed between 2% and 20%. The presence of hepta-BDE congeners (BDE-181, BDE-190) in hair of the women in Taizhou suggest that thermal degradation of Deca-BDE from the open burning of e-waste may have been their source because these congeners are not found in either Penta-BDE or Octa-BDE technical products. Of the three types of samples analyzed, it was also suspected that hair may be more favorable to higher-brominated compounds which might explain why the hair samples contained the highest total PBDE concentrations and the highest proportion of higher-brominated BDEs (hepta-BDEs). Conclusion: This study provides evidence that primitive e-waste recycling in China leads to high PBDE body burdens in local residents and can potentially threaten the health of infants. Recommendations and perspectives: Control measures should be imposed to minimize the level of pollutants resulting from e-waste processing operations to the environment and to humans. In-depth investigations on epidemiological studies of health impacts caused by e-waste recycling operations should be conducted. It is recommended that further measurements of PBDE levels in local food (e. g., fish, shellfish, dairy products, meat, fruits, and vegetables), dust, air, water, and human specimens be collected from a larger sample size at the e-waste processing site for the determination of human exposure pathways to PBDEs. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Qin Y.Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Leung C.K.M.,Center Ltd | Leung A.O.W.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Wu S.C.,Hong Kong Baptist University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2010

Background, aim, and scope: Persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals can cause diseases in women, however, the relationships of these pollutants and uterine leiomyomas (UL), which are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus, are unclear. This study focused on the quantification of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and heavy metals in subcutaneous and visceral fat obtained from patients with UL and in subcutaneous fat of a control group of women without UL to determine if there were any correlations between concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals and the incidence of UL. Materials and methods: Samples were collected from ethnic Chinese residents from six hospitals and six cosmetic surgery clinics in Hong Kong. Patients with UL provided both subcutaneous and visceral fat, while women without UL (control group) provided subcutaneous fat through liposuction. Analyses of POPs and heavy metals were conducted using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry, respectively. Total mercury (Hg) content was measured using an atomic fluorescence spectrometer. Results: Significantly higher (p<0.01 or 0.05) concentrations of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs), PCBs, PAHs, PBDEs, arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and Hg were detected in the subcutaneous fat of patients when compared with those of the control group. Significant correlations were found between pollutant concentrations of subcutaneous and visceral fat in the patient group, with visceral fat containing significantly higher (p<0.01 or 0.05) concentrations of As (subcutaneous fat: 0.59 μg/kg fat; visceral fat: 0.73), Cd (0.38; 0.47), Pb (5.24; 5.98), and Hg (9.12; 13.3). Discussion: Since UL has a close relationship with estrogen levels in women, and OCPs, PCBs, PAHs, and PBDEs have an estrogen-like effect, these chemicals may correlate with UL. This study showed higher levels of DDT and its metabolites, HCHs, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)pyrene, PCBs, and BDE-99 in patients with UL than those in the control group. Furthermore, higher concentrations of Cd, Pb, As, and Hg were found in the patient group than those in the control group suggesting that these chemicals may correlate with UL. Conclusion: Our studies demonstrated that these persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals may have correlations with UL, and their accumulation in the body is positively correlated with seafood diet habit, body mass index, and age. In the patient group, higher levels of persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals were found in visceral fat than in subcutaneous fat confirming the long-held belief that visceral fat is more pernicious and pathogenic than subcutaneous fat. Recommendations and perspectives: It is recommended that women minimize their exposure to environmental pollutants as much as possible which includes consuming certain seafoods in moderation, such as fatty fish, carnivorous fish (tuna and swordfish), and shellfish which are known to concentrate POPs and heavy metals, respectively. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

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