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Temporal trends in serum concentrations of polychlorinated dioxins, furans, and PCBs among adult women living in Chapaevsk, Russia: a longitudinal study from 2000 to 2009

Olivier Humblet1, Oleg Sergeyev23, Larisa Altshul45, Susan A Korrick16, Paige L Williams7, Claude Emond89, Linda S Birnbaum10, Jane S Burns1, Mary M Lee11, Boris Revich12, Andrey Shelepchikov13, Denis Feshin13 and Russ Hauser1*

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

2 Department of Physical Education and Health, Samara State Medical University, Samara, Russia

3 Chapaevsk Medical Association, Chapaevsk, Russia

4 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

5 Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc., Needham, Massachusetts, USA

6 Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

7 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

8 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

9 BioSimulation Consulting Inc., Newark, Delaware, USA

10 National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

11 Pediatric Endocrinology Division, Departments of Pediatrics and Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

12 Center for Demography and Human Ecology, Institute for Forecasting, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

13 Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

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Environmental Health 2011, 10:62  doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-62

Published: 22 June 2011



The present study assessed the temporal trend in serum concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls (PCBs) among residents of a Russian town where levels of these chemicals are elevated due to prior industrial activity.


Two serum samples were collected from eight adult women (in 2000 and 2009), and analyzed with gas chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry.


The average total toxic equivalency (TEQ) decreased by 30% (from 36 to 25 pg/g lipid), and the average sum of PCB congeners decreased by 19% (from 291 to 211 ng/g lipid). Total TEQs decreased for seven of the eight women, and the sum of PCBs decreased for six of eight women. During this nine year period, larger decreases in serum TEQs and PCBs were found in women with greater increases in body mass index.


This study provides suggestive evidence that average serum concentrations of dioxins, furans, and PCBs are decreasing over time among residents of this town.