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E-M:/ PCB's alter thyroid in fish eaters

Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>

A new study on the wives of fisherman eating PCB-laden fish show
effects from exposure to  PCB's on the women's thyroid hormone levels.
From a study in Sweden but very relevant to the Great Lakes where
consumption of PCB-contaminated fish remains a critical
public health issue.

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Abstract Volume 74 Issue 3 (2001) pp 184-188

Plasma concentrations of persistent organochlorines in relation to
thyrotropin and thyroid hormone levels in women
Lars Hagmar (1), Lars Rylander (1), Eva Dyremark (2), Eva Klasson-Wehler
(3)(4), Eva Marie Erfurth (5)

(1) Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University
Hospital, 22185 Lund, Sweden e-mail: lars.hagmar@ymed.lu.se Fax:
(2) Department of Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm,
(3) Department of Environmental Chemistry, Wallenberg Laboratory, Stockholm
University, Stockholm, Sweden
(4) AstraZeneca R & D Södertälje, Södertälje, Sweden
(5) Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

Received: 9 June 2000 / Accepted: 31 October 2000

Abstract Objectives: There is a concern that persistent organohalogen
toxicants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), might display
endocrine-disrupting effects in exposed populations. In this study the
correlations between PCBs and thyrotropin (TSH) and thyroid hormone
concentrations in plasma were assessed in adult women. Methods: The study
group consisted of 182 fishermen's wives from the Swedish east coast, with a
median age of 42 years (range 23-62) and a median current consumption of
contaminated fatty fish from the Baltic Sea of two meals per month (range
0-12). TSH, free (FT3) and total (TT3) triiodothyronine and free (FT4) and
total (TT4) thyroxin in plasma were analyzed by immunofluorometric assays,
and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) in plasma was analyzed by gas
chromatography with electron capture detection. Twenty other PCB and two
hydroxy-PCB congeners were analyzed in subgroups of the women. Plasma lipid
analyses were performed with enzymatic techniques. Results: The CB-153
concentration in plasma (range 16-776 ng/g lipid) was negatively correlated
with the TT3 concentrations (range 1.0-3.0 nmol/l, rs=-0.29, P < 0.001).
This association remained after age adjustment. Conclusions: The present
study gives some support for the notion that dietary exposure to persistent
organochlorine compounds (POCs) might weakly affect peripheral thyroid
hormone concentrations in adult women.

Key words Fish consumption · PCBs · Thyroid hormones · TSH · Women

Article in PDF format (93 KB)

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