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Evaluation of cumulative PCB exposure estimated by a job exposure matrix versus PCB serum concentrations.
Hopf-NB; Ruder-AM; Succop-P; Waters-MA
Environ Sci Pollut Res 2014 May; 21(10):6314-6323
Although polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been banned in many countries for more than three decades, exposures to PCBs continue to be of concern due to their long half-lives and carcinogenic effects. In National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studies, we are using semiquantitative plant-specific job exposure matrices (JEMs) to estimate historical PCB exposures for workers (n=24,865) exposed to PCBs from 1938 to 1978 at three capacitor manufacturing plants. A subcohort of these workers (n=410) employed in two of these plants had serum PCB concentrations measured at up to four times between 1976 and 1989. Our objectives were to evaluate the strength of association between an individual worker's measured serum PCB levels and the same worker's cumulative exposure estimated through 1977 with the (1) JEM and (2) duration of employment, and to calculate the explained variance the JEM provides for serum PCB levels using (3) simple linear regression. Consistent strong and statistically significant associations were observed between the cumulative exposures estimated with the JEM and serum PCB concentrations for all years. The strength of association between duration of employment and serum PCBs was good for highly chlorinated (Aroclor 1254/HPCB) but not less chlorinated (Aroclor 1242/LPCB) PCBs. In the simple regression models, cumulative occupational exposure estimated using the JEMs explained 14-24 % of the variance of the Aroclor 1242/LPCB and 22-39 % for Aroclor 1254/HPCB serum concentrations. We regard the cumulative exposure estimated with the JEM as a better estimate of PCB body burdens than serum concentrations quantified as Aroclor 1242/LPCB and Aroclor 1254/HPCB.
Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Exposure-levels; Carcinogens; Cancer; Risk-factors; Workers; Work-areas; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: Polychlorinated biphenyls; PCB; Serum PCB; Aroclor; Occupational exposure
Nancy B. Hopf, Institute for Work and Health (IST), Route de la Corniche 2, CH-1066 Epalinges-Lausanne, Switzerland
Issue of Publication
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division