In epidemiological studies on the toxic effects of prenatal exposure to hexachlorobenzene (HCB), researchers report HCB concentrations, either as wet-weight or per lipid weight basis, in matrices like breast milk, and maternal and cord blood. Conversion of exposures across matrices is needed for comparisons of concentrations and dose effect across cohorts. Using data from a birth cohort study in eastern Slovakia, we derived the maternal blood to cord blood HCB concentration ratio utilizing measured concentrations in 1027 paired maternal and cord blood samples, on a per-lipid basis. In addition to data from the Slovak study, the maternal milk to maternal serum ratio was summarized from 23 published studies on partitioning of HCB between human milk lipid and blood lipid. We identified two distinct groups of milk:blood ratios, those ≤0.45 and those ≥0.85. We assumed that using partition ratios ≤0.45 will underestimate HCB exposure estimates. Taking into account this precautionary measure, we suggest a conversion ratio of 1.21, which is the median of the 16 ratios identified in our literature review. We consider our estimate as conservative and providing appropriate safety in risk analysis.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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