Congener-specific analysis of polychlorinated biphenyl in human blood from Japanese
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners were analyzed by high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) of whole blood samples taken from 24 healthy adult Japanese volunteers (12 males and 12 females, age range 25–46 years). On average, 95 PCB congeners were detected in whole blood samples. The mean of total PCB concentration in whole blood was 771.9 pg g–1 whole blood (139.6 ng per g-lipid). Congener-specific analysis identified the predominant PCB congeners as #153 (22.2), #180 (11.6), #138 (8.4), #182/187 (6.6), #118 (5.6), #163/164 (5.0), #99 (3.9), #74 (3.6), #146 (3.3), #170 (3.0) and #156 (2.2), representing 75.6 of all PCBs detected in the human blood samples. Among the predominant PCB congeners, #153, #180, #138, #187 #118, #99 and #74 had chlorine as the substituent at the 2-, 4- and 5- positions of the phenyl-ring. In human blood in Japanese individuals, it is assumed that these congeners would be characteristic of the entire population, based on the relation between PCB ingestion and metabolism. Measuring 209 PCB congeners has the advantage of providing detailed information regarding the congener distribution within the blood samples, which can be compared to congener patterns in other matrices. Congener-specific analysis of 209 PCB congeners is especially useful in evaluating human exposure to PCBs.