A pentachlorophenol (PCP) manufacturing plant in southern Taiwan discontinued production in 1989. The site of the abandoned plant was heavily contaminated by PCDD/PCDFs, impurities formed in the PCP production process. Serum samples collected from 27 residents living near the deserted plant were evaluated to determine whether this contamination had associated serum levels of PCDD/PCDFs in local residents. The average level of 17 tested congeners ranged from 556 to 5240 pg/g lipid (mean, 1670 pg/g lipid). The corresponding 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxicity equivalent quotient values calculated by international toxicity equivalent factors (I-TEFs) and those recommended by WHO (WHO-TEFs) were 47.2 pg I-TEQ/g lipid and 53.4 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid, respectively. Levels in other parts of Taiwan typically range from 15 to 20 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid; therefore, it is likely that the heavily contaminated plant site caused these unusually high serum levels. The average PCDD/PCDF levels of 29 fish-tissue and nine soil samples collected from the sea reservoir surrounding the abandoned PCP plant were also abnormally high: 8630 pg/g lipid (985 pg WHO-TEQ/g lipid) and 606 000 pg/g-sample (922 pg WHO-TEQ/g-sample), respectively. Factor analysis indicated that the congener pattern of human serum samples collected from residents living near the abandoned PCP plant different from samples collected from other areas in Taiwan without known PCDD/PCDF pollution. Similar results were observed for the fish tissue and soil samples. The current study may have discovered a "hot spot" for elevated dioxin human exposure in Taiwan. The preliminary finding has raised a public health concern in the inspected area and requires further investigations to clarify the nature of the contamination and potential impact on the local environment and human health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 化學 (全部)