The main goal of this study is to establish the reference values of individual Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in non-occupationally exposed subjects. Since the PCB pattern in human serum is related to the living area, two different population groups from North and Central Italy, were compared. Serum concentrations of both coplanar and non-coplanar PCB congeners were measured by using gas chromatography coupled with low-resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC-LRMS). A fast and reliable method for the determination of 60 congeners had been previously validated. Its reliability was further verified by using high-resolution mass spectrometry. Thirty-one congeners out of 60 were found at detectable concentrations in at least one sample. The mean value for total PCBs was found to be 2.48 and 3.93 μg/L for the two population groups. Eight dioxin-like PCBs were detected. In accordance with the findings from the literature, the most abundant congeners were found to be 153, 138, 180, and 170. Both univariate and multivariate analysis showed that age is a significant determinant of PCB concentrations. The correlation increased with increasing chlorination. Slight differences in the PCB pattern were observed in the two population groups.
- Human serum
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Reference values
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