Combining data sets of organochlorines (OCs) in human plasma for the Russian Arctic
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As part of AMAP's human circumpolar study of POPs, an international effort was initiated to extend coverage to communities across the Russian Arctic. Two additional laboratories were invited to join the analytical component of this effort, resulting in four participating analytical centres. Although quality assurance measures were put in place, and the level of performance of the laboratories was generally acceptable, deficiencies in the analytical protocols used were recognized subsequent to the collection and analyses of the plasma specimens. The current paper describes the criteria employed to critically appraise the four data bases and guide their integration into a single data set. Summary statistics are presented for plasma concentrations of major PCBs, p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT, beta-HCH, and HCB for communities/regions across the arctic/subarctic Russian continent, and for one community located in the Aral Sea area of Uzbekistan (a control group). Highly exposed people were identified in the coastal communities of Chukotka, which appears mainly related to marine mammal intake, but recent pesticide use is also suspected. Other communities with intermediate levels of PCBs had relatively elevated beta-HCH, p,p'-DDT and HCB concentrations and low DDE/DDT ratios (<10), suggesting recent pesticide use.
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