Interpreting PCB levels in breast milk using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to reconstruct the dynamic exposure of Italian women

Abstract : Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent contaminants suspected to cause adverse health effects in humans. As PCBs levels in food have not been monitored frequently in the past, modeling approaches based on environmental data have been proposed to predict the human dietary intake. In this work, we propose to improve these approaches by taking into account internal levels of PCBs in humans. This methodology is based on the analysis of biomonitoring data using exposure and physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling to determine the most probable scenario of exposure. Breast milk concentrations were measured in Italian women for PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-180. For each congener, three exposure scenarios were derived and a PBPK model was used to relate the lifetime exposure to the breast milk levels. For the three PCBs, we determined the most probable scenario of exposure. Our results support the adequacy of the exposure and the PBPK models for PCB-180 and PCB-153, whereas we observed discrepancies between the models and the biomonitoring data for PCB-138. Our intake estimates are in good agreement with previous exposure assessments based solely on food contamination demonstrating the relevance of our approach to reconstruct accurately the exposure and to fill in data gaps on exposure.
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Maria Ulaszewska, Philippe Ciffroy, Fazia Tahraoui, Florence Anna Zeman, Ettore Capri, et al.. Interpreting PCB levels in breast milk using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to reconstruct the dynamic exposure of Italian women. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, Nature Publishing Group, 2012, 22 (6), pp.601-609. ⟨10.1038/jes.2012.36⟩. ⟨ineris-00963410⟩

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