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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Exposure of Swedish adolescents to elements, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and rapidly excreted substances-The Riksmaten adolescents 2016-17 national survey

Pineda, Sebastian; Lignell, Sanna; Gyllenhammar, Irina; Lampa, Erik; Benskin, Jonathan P.; Lundh, Thomas; Lindh, Christian; Kiviranta, Hannu; Glynn, Anders

Abstract

Adolescence is a period of significant physiological changes, and likely a sensitive window to chemical exposure. Few nation-wide population-based studies of chemical body burdens in adolescents have been published. In the national dietary survey Riksmaten Adolescents (RMA) 2016-17, over 13 chemical substance groups, including elements, chlorinated/brominated/fluorinated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were analysed in blood, and in urine metabolites of phthalates/phthalate alternatives, phosphorous flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and pesticides, along with bisphenols and biocide/preservative/antioxidant/UV filter substances (N = 1082, ages 11-21). The aim was to characterize the body burdens in a representative population of adolescents in Sweden, and to compare results with human biomonitoring guidance values (HBM-GVs). Cluster analyses and Spearman's rank order correlations suggested that concentrations of substances with known common exposure sources and similar toxicokinetics formed obvious clusters and showed moderate to very strong correlations (r & GE; 0.4). No clusters were formed between substances from different matrices. Geometric mean (GM) concentrations of the substances were generally less than 3-fold different from those observed among adolescents in NHANES (USA 2015-16) and GerES V (Germany 2014-17). Notable exceptions were brominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) with >20-fold lower GM concentrations, and the biocide triclosan and ultraviolet (UV) filter benzophenone-3 with >15-fold lower mean concentrations in RMA compared to NHANES. Exceedance of the most conservative HBM-GVs were observed for aluminium (Al, 26% of subjects), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS, 19%), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, 12%), lead (Pb, 12%), MBP (dibutyl phthalate metabolite, 4.8%), hexachlorobenzene (HCB, 3.1%) and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (PBA, pyrethroid metabolite, 2.2%). Males showed a higher proportion of exceedances than females for Pb, HCB and PFOS; otherwise no gender-related differences in exceedances were observed. A higher proportion of males than females had a Hazard Index (HI) of substances with liver and kidney toxicity and neurotoxicity >1. Industrialized countries with similarly high standards of living, with some exceptions, show comparable average body burdens of a variety of toxic chemicals among adolescents from the general population. The exceedances of HBM-GVs and HIs strongly suggests that further efforts to limit chemical exposure are warranted.

Keywords

Chemical mixtures; Biomonitoring; Pollutants; Neurotoxic; Hazard index; Adolescents

Published in

International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
2023, Volume: 251, article number: 114196
Publisher: ELSEVIER GMBH

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG3 Good health and well-being

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
      Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

      Publication identifier

      DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2023.114196

      Permanent link to this page (URI)

      https://res.slu.se/id/publ/122864