The State of Michigan has a long history of research into human exposure to environmental contaminants through consumption of recreationally caught fish. A large cohort of Lake Michigan residents who eat fish (fish-eaters) and those who do not eat fish (nonfish-eaters) established in 1980 served as the basis for the congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure evaluation reported here. In this paper we present the serum PCB congener profile for a subset of this cohort who were over 50 years of age. Serum samples were collected in 1993-1995 and were evaluated by a dual column capillary column gas chromatography procedure capable of detecting over 90 PCB congeners. This evaluation demonstrated significant PCB exposure in the fish-eaters (mean serum PCB of 14.26 ppb; n = 101). This elevated exposure allowed the establishment of a detailed profile of the PCB congeners found in humans exposed by this route. Twenty-two congeners of varying concentrations were the most prevalent and constituted over 95% of the total PCB present in most subjects. Four congeners, 138/163 (2,2',3,4,4',5-PCB/2,3,3',4',5,6-PCB), 180 (2,2',3;4,4',5,5'-PCB), and 153 (2,2',4,4',5,5'-PCB), accounted for 55-64% of the total PCB load. Other congeners, some of toxicologic significance, were also detected by this analytical protocol. Nonfish-eaters had lower total serum PCB levels (mean = 4.56; n = 78), but the same general pattern of PCB congeners was present. It was demonstrated that careful selection of a subset of prevalent PCB congeners could provide a cost-effective assessment of exposure without losing critical scientific information.
- Capillary column gas chromatography
- Great Lakes
- Lake Michigan
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener profile
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis