Exposure assessment at a PCDD/F contaminated site in Sweden: field measurements of exposure media and serum analysis
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry2010 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 17, no 1, 26-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND, AIM, AND SCOPE: The main pathway for human exposure to the highly toxic polychlorinated-p-dioxins and polychlorinated furans [polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs)] is via dietary intake. Other exposure pathways may, however, be important in close proximity to point sources, such as wood preservation sites, where PCDD/F contaminated chlorophenols (CP) were previously used. In this study, a heavily PCDD/F contaminated CP saw mill site in Sweden was investigated. Human exposure through a broad spectrum of exposure pathways was assessed. Such studies are in demand since the question whether contaminated sites represent a current or future risk can only be answered by detailed site-specific risk assessments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sampling of exposure media (soil, air, groundwater, raspberries, carrots, potatoes, grass, milk, eggs, and chicken fodder) was made. Exposure media concentrations and congener distribution patterns were used to investigate the mobilization of PCDD/Fs from soil to the environment and to calculate exposure levels for adults. Blood serum levels from site-exposed and control individuals were also analyzed. RESULTS: Congener distribution patterns at the site were generally dominated by a specific marker congener (1234678-HpCDF), which is highly abundant in the polluted soil. The dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQ) concentrations were notably elevated as compared to national reference samples for most exposure media, and the marker congener was a major contributor to increased TEQ levels. There were also indications of soil-to-air volatilization of tetra- and penta-CDD/Fs. People who participated in the restoration of a contaminated building showed higher levels of 1234678-HpCDF compared to controls, and calculated exposure levels suggest that several site-specific exposure routes may be of importance for the daily intake of PCDD/F. CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND PERSPECTIVES: Despite low mobility of higher chlorinated PCDD/Fs, these contaminants were transferred from the polluted soil to the surroundings and into human tissue. The extent of increased exposure from contaminated sites depends on the PCDD/F source strength of the soil, composition of the pollution, human activities, and dietary patterns of the residents. Impact from the contaminated soil on other exposure media was seen also for areas with low to moderate soil contamination. In the future, not only the levels of PCDD/F soil pollution but also the composition must be considered in risk assessments of contaminated sites.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin / Heidelberg: Springer , 2010. Vol. 17, no 1, 26-39 p.
Ambient air, Biotransfer, Chlorophenol, Contaminated soil, Cow’s milk, Dioxins, Exposure, Food chain, Grass, Groundwater, Human exposure, Indoor air, PCDD/F, Root-crops, Serum, Soil
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5718DOI: 10.1007/s11356-009-0223-4ISI: 000273311100004PubMedID: 19641944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-5718DiVA: diva2:145333