BACKGROUND: Few studies have evaluated predictors of childhood exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), a class of lipophilic persistent chemicals. OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to identify predictors of serum OCP concentrations-hexachlorobenzene (HCB), beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH), and p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE)-among boys in Chapaevsk, Russia. METHODS: Between 2003 and 2005, 499 boys 8-9 years of age were recruited in a prospective cohort. The initial study visit included a physical examination; blood collection; health, lifestyle, and food-frequency questionnaires; and determination of residential distance from a local factory complex that produced HCB and beta-HCH. Fasting serum samples were analyzed for OCPs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. General linear regression models were used to identify predictors of the boys' serum HCB, beta-HCH, and p,p'-DDE concentrations. RESULTS: Among 355 boys with OCP measurements, median serum HCB, beta-HCH, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were 158, 167, and 284 ng/g lipid, respectively. Lower body mass index, longer breastfeeding duration, and local dairy consumption were associated with higher concentrations of OCPs. Boys who lived < 2 km from the factory complex had 64% (95% CI: 37, 96) and 57% (95% CI: 32, 87) higher mean HCB and beta-HCH concentrations, respectively, than boys who lived = 5 km away. Living > 3 years in Chapaevsk predicted higher beta-HCH concentrations, and having parents who lacked a high school education predicted higher p,p'-DDE concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Among this cohort of prepubertal Russian boys, predictors of serum OCPs included consumption of local dairy products, longer local residence, and residential proximity to the local factory complex.
Thuy Lam, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, 665 Huntington Ave., Building 1, Room 1406N, Boston, MA 02115