Blood concentrations and risk assessment of persistent organochlorine compounds in newborn boys in Turkey. A pilot study

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Dec;22(24):19896-904. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-5179-y. Epub 2015 Aug 21.


Even early life in utero cannot provide a safe place for newborns. The first acquaintance with chemicals takes place in utero and/or with mother's milk after delivery. Besides legislations and bans to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), these chemicals are still affecting the general population especially the children as they are one of the populations most susceptible to chemicals, and also the health problems may arise in the future. Our objective is to collect the first data in newborns in Turkey to determine baseline levels of POPs in the general population and estimate the potential cancer risk related to exposure. Twenty-nine organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 18 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in blood samples of newborn boys (0-1 month old) who were born in İstanbul, Turkey, in 2010-2012 were evaluated with high-resolution gas chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS). Results for analyzed chlorinated compounds are as follows: hexachlorocyclohexane (ΣHCH) 1828 ± 3650 pg/g lipid, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (ΣDDT) 10,000 ± 15,398 pg/g lipid, and ΣPCB 1068 ± 1823 pg/g lipid. 4,4'-DDT, 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (4,4'-DDE), hexachlorobenzene, and PCB 138 and 153 are the major contaminants. New POPs as lindane 61 ± 268 pg/g lipid, pentachlorobenzene 13 ± 74 pg/g lipid, and endosulfan 29 ± 106 pg/g lipid are also detected in blood. Estimated total risk for lifetime PCB exposure is less than 1 × 10(-5), an acceptable risk. Blood concentration levels will be important base data in the assessment of health concerns of newborns as well as for studies about how endocrine disruptors affect humans.

Keywords: Blood; Boy; Newborn; OCP; PCB; Turkey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endocrine Disruptors / blood
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Assessment
  • Turkey


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated