Immunological effects of environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins in Dutch school children

Toxicol Lett. 2004 Apr 1;149(1-3):281-5. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2003.12.039.


Perinatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins is associated with immune changes in healthy Dutch preschool children. To examine whether such effects persist into later childhood, we here report on the immunological effects of perinatal exposure to PCBs and dioxins in 167 Dutch children at school age. A higher postnatal PCB exposure was associated with a higher prevalence of recurrent middle ear infections and a higher prenatal PCB exposure with less shortness of breath with wheeze, as assessed by parent questionnaire. Our data indicate that, at environmental levels of these man made chemicals, subtle health effects may occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dioxins / toxicity*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity*


  • Dioxins
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls