Identification of Hydroxylated PCB Metabolites and Other Phenolic Halogenated Pollutants in Human Blood Plasma
- Cite this article as:
- Hovander, L., Malmberg, T., Athanasiadou, M. et al. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (2002) 42: 105. doi:10.1007/s002440010298
A growing number of studies have reported phenolic halogenated compounds (PHCs) that are retained in the blood of humans and wildlife. These PHCs may be industrial chemicals; metabolites thereof, as in the case with polychlorobiphenylols (OH-PCBs); or of natural origin. The present study was aimed to identify hitherto unknown PHCs in human plasma with chemical structures that are consistent to PHCs known to possess endocrine-disrupting activity. For this purpose, samples of blood plasma from 10 randomly selected male blood donors from Sweden were pooled and analyzed by GC/ECD and GC/MS. Brominated, bromochlorinated, and chlorinated methyl derivatives of phenols and OH-PCBs were synthesized to be used as authentic reference standards. More than 100 PHCs were indicated in the plasma, and among those a total of 9 monocyclic brominated or chlorinated phenol-, guaiacol-, and/or catechol-type compounds were identified as their methylated derivatives. The two major compounds were 2,4,6-tribromophenol and pentachlorophenol. Thirty-eight OH-PCB congeners were structurally identified on two GC columns of different polarity. The origin of the OH-PCB metabolites in the context of their parent PCB congeners are suggested. Other PHCs identified in the male plasma were Triclosan (5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichlorophenoxy] phenol), a common bactericide; 4-hydroxy-heptachlorostyrene, a metabolite of octachlorostyrene; and 3,5-dibromo-2-(2,4-dibromophenoxy)phenol, a natural compound and a potential metabolite of polybrominated diphenyl ethers.