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The use of biomonitoring equivalents for interpreting blood concentrations in population studies: a case for polychlorinated biphenyls

1 Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5;
2 Exposure and Biomonitoring Division, Environmental Health Sciences and Research Bureau, Health Canada, ON, Canada K1A 0K9;
3 Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, ON, Canada K1A 0K9;
4 Center for Advanced Research in Environmental Genomics, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Special Issues: Human biomonitoring and health impacts of existing and emerging environmental contaminants

A number of exposure guideline values for environmental contaminants are established by various agencies for risk assessment purposes. Biomonitoring equivalents are conversions of external guideline values to internal doses, against which biomonitoring data can be directly compared. Several biomonitoring equivalents have been developed for the interpretation of blood concentrations of environmental contaminants, but none has yet been developed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In this paper, we describe information needed to develop biomonitoring equivalents for PCBs and discuss anticipated challenges. We provide a broad overview of PCB absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, PCB guideline values, and PCB pharmacokinetic modeling efforts in animals and humans. We also provide strategies to address anticipated challenges in deriving biomonitoring equivalents for this complex contaminant. Biomonitoring equivalents will be useful for the interpretation of the PCB biomonitoring data that is currently available for populations around the globe through national surveys and research of specific populations.
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Keywords risk assessment; biomonitoring equivalent; polychlorinated biphenyls; pharmacokinetic modeling

Citation: Kavita Singh, Andy Nong, Mark Feeley, Hing Man Chan. The use of biomonitoring equivalents for interpreting blood concentrations in population studies: a case for polychlorinated biphenyls. AIMS Environmental Science, 2015, 2(1): 21-41. doi: 10.3934/environsci.2015.1.21


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