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Serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in participants of the Anniston Community Health Survey☆,☆☆
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    Serum concentrations of 35 ortho-substituted polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs) were measured in 765 adults from Anniston, Alabama, where PCBs were manufactured between 1929 and 1971. As part of the Anniston Community Health Survey (ACHS), demographic data, questionnaire information, and blood samples were collected from participants in 2005-2007. Forty-six percent of study participants were African-American, 70% were female, and the median age was 56 years. The median concentration of the sum of 35 PCB congeners (ΣPCBs) was 528 ng/g lipid, with a 90th percentile of 2,600 ng/g lipid, minimum of 17.0 ng/g lipid, and maximum of 27,337 ng/g lipid. The least square geometric mean ΣPCBs was more than 2.5 times higher for African-American participants than for White participants (866 ng/g lipid vs. 331 ng/g lipid); this difference did not change materially after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and current smoking. In spite of large differences in absolute PCB levels, relative contributions of individual congeners to ΣPCBs were quite similar between race groups. Nevertheless, while percent contributions to ΣPCBs for most of the most abundant penta- to heptachlorobiphenyls were higher among African-Americans, the percentages were higher in Whites for the lower-chlorinated PCBs 28 and 74 and for octa- to decachlorinated PCBs. No major differences were observed in geometric mean ΣPCBs between women and men when adjusted for age, race, BMI and current smoking (516 ng/g lipid vs. 526 ng/g lipid). Principal component analysis revealed groups of co-varying congeners that appear to be determined by chlorine substitution patterns. These congener groupings were similar between ACHS participants and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-04 sample of the general United States population, despite ACHS participants having serum concentrations of ΣPCBs two to three times higher than those in comparable age and race groups from NHANES.

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