Correlates of Persistent Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical Mixtures among Reproductive-Aged Black Women

Environ Sci Technol. 2021 Oct 19;55(20):14000-14014. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c02549. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Black women are exposed to multiple endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), but few studies have examined their profiles of exposure to EDC mixtures. We identified biomarker profiles and correlates of exposure to EDC mixtures in a cross-sectional analysis of data from a prospective cohort study of 749 Black women aged 23-35 years. We quantified plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in nonfasting samples collected at baseline. Demographic, behavioral, dietary, and reproductive covariates were also collected at baseline. We used k-means clustering and principal component analysis (PCA) to describe concentration profiles of EDC mixtures (17 PCBs, 6 PBDEs, 4 OCPs, 6 PFAS), followed by multinomial logistic and multivariable linear regression to estimate mean differences in PCA scores (β) and odds ratios (ORs) of cluster membership with their respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Older age (per 1 year increase: β = 0.47, CI = 0.39, 0.54; OR = 1.27, CI = 1.20, 1.35), lower body mass index (per 1 kg/m2 increase: β = -0.14, CI = -0.17, -0.12; OR = 0.91, CI = 0.89, 0.94), and current smoking (≥10 cigarettes/day vs never smokers: β = 1.37, CI = 0.20, 2.55; OR = 2.63, CI = 1.07, 6.50) were associated with profiles characterized by higher concentrations of all EDCs. Other behaviors and traits, including dietary factors and years since last birth, were also associated with EDC mixtures.

Keywords: Black women; correlates; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; mixtures; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances; pesticides; polybrominated diphenyl ethers; polychlorinated biphenyls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endocrine Disruptors*
  • Environmental Pollutants* / analysis
  • Female
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated* / analysis
  • Pesticides*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticides
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls