Ratio of cord to maternal serum PCB concentrations in relation to their congener-specific physicochemical properties

Kinga Lancz, Ľubica Murínová, Henrieta Patayová, Beata Drobná, Soňa Wimmerová, Eva Šovčíková, Ján Kováč, Dana Farkašová, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Todd A. Jusko, Tomáš Trnovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The aim was to characterize placental transfer of some congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and to relate human in utero exposure to these pollutants to their physicochemical properties. We included into the study 1134 births during the period 2002-2003 from two highly PCB contaminated districts in eastern Slovakia. Concentrations of 15 PCB congeners (IUPAC No. 28, 52, 101, 123(+149), 118, 114, 153, 105, 138(+163), 167, 156(+171), 157, 180, 170, and 189) in umbilical cord (C) and maternal serum (M) were determined. The C/M ratios were significantly related, either positively or inversely depending on parameter, to the logarithm of partition coefficient octanol-water (KOW), to fusion enthalpy at the melting point, molecular weight, water solubility, total surface area of the molecule, solvent accessible surface area, melting point, molar volume, and molecular electronegativity distance vector. We found an inverse association between logKOW and lipid adjusted logC/M (const=1.078, b1=-0.179, p<0.001, R(2)=0.039). Parameters evaluated were interrelated except fusion enthalpy at the melting point and electron affinity vs. solubility. We discuss the possible role of cholesterol as a transplacental transporter of PCBs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Partition coefficient octanol water
  • Physicochemical parameters
  • Placenta
  • Placental transfer
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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