PCB levels in adipose tissue of dogs from illegal dumping sites in Campania region (Italy)

Chemosphere. 2020 Apr;244:125478. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125478. Epub 2019 Nov 27.


The aim of the study is to investigate the potential relationship between exposure to PCBs and cancer. In doing so we relied on a sample of dogs coming from a peculiar area of the Campania region (Italy), that has been suffering for illegal waste dumping and open air burning of plastic waste for many years. The latter determined the release of organic and inorganic pollutants, such as the PCBs. By comparing dogs with cancer and healthy dogs, we found much higher PCB concentrations in the former, with a significant difference (p < 0.05) for the non-indicator ∑10NDL-PCB and the DL-PCBs. A regression analysis, controlling for three potentially confounding factors, that are sex, age and weight, confirmed the higher ∑10NDL-PCB concentration in dogs with cancer. Hence, our evidence suggests a potential health hazard for animals and likewise people living in a risky area due to the presence of environmental organic pollutants.

Keywords: Campania region; Cancer; Dogs; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Sentinel animals.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Plastics
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / metabolism*
  • Waste Disposal Facilities*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Plastics
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls