Human Elimination of Organochlorine Pesticides: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study

Biomed Res Int. 2016:2016:1624643. doi: 10.1155/2016/1624643. Epub 2016 Oct 5.


Background. Many individuals have been exposed to organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) through food, water, air, dermal exposure, and/or vertical transmission. Due to enterohepatic reabsorption and affinity to adipose tissue, OCPs are not efficiently eliminated from the human body and may accrue in tissues. Many epidemiological studies demonstrate significant exposure-disease relationships suggesting OCPs can alter metabolic function and potentially lead to illness. There is limited study of interventions to facilitate OCP elimination from the human body. This study explored the efficacy of induced perspiration as a means to eliminate OCPs. Methods. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) were collected from 20 individuals. Analysis of 23 OCPs was performed using dual-column gas chromatography with electron-capture detectors. Results. Various OCPs and metabolites, including DDT, DDE, methoxychlor, endrin, and endosulfan sulfate, were excreted into perspiration. Generally, sweat samples showed more frequent OCP detection than serum or urine analysis. Many OCPs were not readily detected in blood testing while still being excreted and identified in sweat. No direct correlation was found among OCP concentrations in the blood, urine, or sweat compartments. Conclusions. Sweat analysis may be useful in detecting some accrued OCPs not found in regular serum testing. Induced perspiration may be a viable clinical tool for eliminating some OCPs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • DDT / pharmacokinetics
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / pharmacokinetics
  • Endosulfan / analogs & derivatives
  • Endosulfan / pharmacokinetics
  • Endrin / pharmacokinetics
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Methoxychlor / pharmacokinetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Pesticides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sweat / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticides
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • endosulfan sulfate
  • DDT
  • Endrin
  • Endosulfan
  • Methoxychlor