Is the fact of parenting couples cohabitation affecting the serum levels of persistent organohalogen pollutants?

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Organohalogen compounds constitute one of the important groups of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Among them, due to their long-term health effects, one should pay attention on organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs). This paper is an attempt to answer the question about relation between the fact of cohabitation by couples expecting a child and the level of the organohalogen compounds in the blood serum of both parents. The study was done on a population of parent couples from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine, from whom blood samples were collected in order to establish the levels of marker organohalogen compounds. We selected, as the representative of these compounds, the most persistent metabolite of DDT, i.e. p,p'-DDE, the most frequently detected PCB congener - CB-153, and PFOS and PFOA as the representatives of PFASs. The results show that in case of all compounds under study the highest concentrations were present always in men in relation to the levels detected in the blood serum of their female partners, regardless of the country of origin of the couple. A positive correlation was noted between the concentrations of the studied compounds in the blood serum of men and women in parenting couples. In some cases these correlations were statistically significant, e.g. for concentrations of p,p'-DDE in pairs from Greenland and Ukraine, of CB-153 in pairs from Poland and Ukraine, and of PFOS for parents from Greenland and Poland, while for PFOA - only for couples from Greenland. The concentrations of the compounds included in the study were similar to the levels found in general population in other countries. Our results show that the exposure to POPs resulting from cohabitation plays a role in the general exposure to these compounds.


  • Katarzyna Góralczyk
  • Paweł Struciński
  • Bogdan Wojtyniak
  • Daniel Rabczenko
  • Christian Lindh
  • Bo A Jönsson
  • Gunnar Toft
  • Virissa Lenters
  • Katarzyna Czaja
  • Agnieszka Hernik
  • Jens Peter Bonde
  • Henning S Pedersen
  • Valentyna Zvyezday
  • Jan K Ludwicki
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch