Send to

Choose Destination
Chemosphere. 2014 Jul;106:20-27. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.12.080. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Selected persistent organic pollutants in human placental tissue from the United States.

Author information

School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, University of California at Davis, California.
Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.
National Children's Study, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Contributed equally


Emerging and legacy environmental pollutants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticide metabolite DDE are found in human placenta, indicating prenatal exposure, but data from the United States are sparse. We sought to determine concentrations of these compounds in human placentae as part of a formative research project conducted by the National Children's Study Placenta Consortium. A total of 169 tissue specimens were collected at different time points post delivery from 43 human placentae at three U.S. locations, and analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry following extraction using matrix solid phase dispersion. PBDEs, PCBs, and DDE were detected in all specimens. The concentrations of 10 PBDEs (Σ10PBDEs), 32 PCBs (Σ32PCBs) and p,p'-DDE were 43-1723, 76-856 and 10-1968pgg(-1) wet weight, respectively, in specimens collected shortly after delivery. Significant geographic differences in PBDEs were observed, with higher concentrations in placentae collected in Davis, CA than in those from Rochester, NY or Milwaukee, WI. We combined these with other published data and noted first-order declining trends for placental PCB and DDE concentrations over the past decades, with half-lives of about 5 and 8years, respectively. The effect of time to tissue collection from refrigerated placentae on measured concentrations of these three classes of persistent organic pollutants was additionally examined, with no significant effect observed up to 120h. The results of this work indicate that widespread prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants in the United States continues.


Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE); Human placenta; National Children’s Study (NCS); Persistent organic pollutants; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center