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Changes in Levels of Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins and Dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and Dioxin-Like PCBs in the General Population Living Near to an Urban Waste Treatment Plant in Bilbao (Spain)

Zubero, Miren Begoña*; Aurrekoetxea, Juan Jóse*†; Ibarluzea, Jesús Maria†‡; Rivera, Josep§; Parera, Jordi§; Abad, Esteban§; Rodríguez, Carlos*; Sáenz, Jóse Ramon*

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362346.61583.11
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations

*University of the Basque Country, Bizkaia, Spain; †Sub-department of Public Health, Health Department, Basque Government, Gipuzkoa, Spain; ‡CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health, Gipuzkoa, Spain; and Dioxins Laboratory, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Background and Objective:

In 2005, a new urban waste treatment plant started its activity in Bilbao. The emissions from such plants include PCDD/Fs. This study aims to estimate the evolution of the blood levels of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in the population around the plant after two years of follow-up.

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Two cross-sectional studies were carried out to measure the blood levels of PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like PCBs and Total Substances with Dioxin Activity (TSDA) in volunteers in 2006 (baseline study) and 2008. We recruited at least 80 people per zone, 20 for each sex and age group (20-44 years and 45-69 years). We selected two nearby areas most exposed to the incinerator, according to the Environmental Impact Study (Alonsotegi (A) and Rekalde (B)) and two control areas (Santutxu (C) and Balmaseda (D)). The serum samples were grouped by sex and age to produce four pooled samples per zone, resulting in a total of 16 pooled-samples per year.

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Serum samples were obtained from 322 individuals in 2006 and from 326 in 2008. At baseline, mean (SD) PCDD/Fs, dioxin-like PCBs and TSDA values, in pg/g lipid, were: 23.45 (8.51), 15.56 (7.97) and 39.01 (14.98), respectively. In 2008, these values increased by 0.15 (−7.29∼7.58), 8.04 (0.31 ∼ 15.78) and 8.19 (−6.73∼23.11), respectively. Only the increase in PCBs was statistically significant. Linear regression models, adjusting for age and gender, showed increased levels in the second year in the control areas (C/D), whereas no increases were observed for the exposed areas (A/B); beta-coefficients: −12.28 (−26.06∼1.50), −10.15 (−23.73∼3.43) and −22.43 (−49.14∼4.28), respectively.

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The exposed areas showed no significant differences in the levels of PCDD/Fs and PCBs over time. The data therefore suggest that variations in the levels of PCDD/Fs and PCBs are not attributable to the incinerator.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.