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Organochlorine Pesticide Levels in Female Adipose Tissue from Puebla, Mexico


The objective of this study was to determine the levels of organochlorine pesticides HCB, α-β-γ-HCH, pp′DDE, op′DDT and pp′DDT in adipose tissue of females living in Puebla, Mexico. Organochlorine pesticides were analyzed in 75 abdominal adipose tissue samples taken during 2010 by autopsy at the Forensic Services of Puebla. The results were expressed as mg/kg on fat basis. In analyzed samples the following pesticides were detected: p,p’-DDE in 100% of samples at mean 1.464 mg/kg; p,p’-DDT in 96.0.% of samples at mean 0.105 mg/kg; op′DDT in 89.3% of monitored samples at mean 0.025 mg/kg and β-HCH in 94.7% of the samples at mean 0.108 mg/kg. To show if organochlorine pesticide levels in monitored female’s adipose tissues are age dependant, the group was divided in three ages ranges (13–26, 26–57 and 57–96 years). The mean and median levels of all organochlorine pesticides increase significantly (p < 0.05) from the first to second and from the first to third group. At the same time, the increase of mean and medians levels from the second to third group were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The present results compared to previous ones from 2008 indicates an increase in the concentrations during the 2010 study, but only the differences for pp’DDE and op’DDT were statistically significant. The 2010 group of females was older compared to the 2008 group. The presence of organochlorine pesticide residues is still observed, indicating uniform and permanent exposure to the pesticides by Puebla inhabitants.

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The authors express their appreciation to Winston Smith of the Peace Corps México for his help in editing this article.

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Correspondence to Stefan M. Waliszewski.

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Waliszewski, S.M., Sanchez, K., Caba, M. et al. Organochlorine Pesticide Levels in Female Adipose Tissue from Puebla, Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 296–301 (2012).

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  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Adipose tissue
  • Female