Association of PCB, PBDE and PCDD/F body burdens with hormone levels for children in an e-waste dismantling area of Zhejiang Province, China.
Increased electronic waste (e-waste) has raised public concerns regarding exposure to numerous toxic contaminants, particularly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). In China, the body burdens of PCBs, PBDEs and PCDD/Fs are associated with thyroid hormones in populations from e-waste dismantling sites; however, it is unclear whether this association occurs in children. In this study, we determined the serum levels of PCBs, PBDEs and PCDD/Fs and the endocrine hormones including free triiodothyronine (FT3), total triiodothyronine (TT3), free thyroxine (FT4), total thyroxine (TT4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol and growth hormone (GH) in 21 children from an e-waste dismantling area and 24 children from a control area. The results showed that the mean levels of ?PCBs and ?PBDEs in the exposure group were significantly higher than in the control group (40.56 and 32.09 ng g(-1) lipid vs. 20.69 and 8.43 ng g(-1) lipid, respectively, p<0.01 for each), and the mean level of ?PCDD/Fs in the exposure group was higher than in the control group, but the difference was not significant (206.17 vs. 160.27 pg g(-1) lipid, p>0.05). For the endocrine hormones, we did not find significant differences between the exposed and control groups, although the mean levels of FT3, TT3, TT4, ACTH, cortisol and GH were higher, whereas the mean levels of FT4 and TSH were lower in the exposed group. The mean level of ?PBDEs was positively correlated with the mean levels of ?PCBs (r=0.60, p<0.05) and ?PCDD/Fs (r=0.61, p<0.05). Furthermore, the mean level of ?PBDEs was positively correlated with ACTH (r=0.61, p<0.05). In conclusion, our data suggested that exposure to e-waste dismantling environment increased the body burdens of PCBs and PBDEs in local children and that these contaminants released from the e-waste might contribute to abnormal changes in hormone levels.