Assessment of chlorinated pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in adipose breast tissue using a supercritical fluid extraction method

Djordjevic, Mirjana V.; Hoffmann, Dietrich; Fan, Jingrun; Prokopczyk, Bogdan; Citron, Marc L.; Stellman, Steven D.

A precise and highly reproducible analytical method was developed for the assessment of organochlorinated pesticide and polychlorinated biphenyl residues in adipose tissue (> or = 50 mg). The method can be utilized for epidemiological studies on the significance of these environmental pollutants in the etiology of breast cancer. Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) with CO2 and modified CO2 (addition of 5% dichloromethane) is employed to remove incurred pesticide residues from adipose tissues that have been surgically removed from breast cancer patients and controls. An alumina sorbent, placed in the extracting vessel together with a specimen, removes the bulk of co-extracted lipids; a subsequent purification of the SFE extracts by column chromatography on alumina removes the remaining traces of lipids that would interfere with the gas chromatographic analysis with electron capture detection. The method was tested by analyzing a Certified Reference Material 430 pork fat with known amounts of pesticide residues that are commonly found in fat or in foods with a high fat content. The recoveries of analytes ranged from 73.4% for endrin to 115% for alpha-, beta- and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene and dieldrin, with standard deviations of 4-12% for individual analytes. The analysis of adipose tissue for organochlorinated compounds on the basis of this new method suggested that the pesticide levels were higher in breast cancer patients than in controls. However, the small number of samples analyzed in this study (n = 5, both groups) precludes definitive conclusions. The most abundant compounds in both cases and controls were p, p-DDE (379 +/- 286 and 160 +/- 149 p.p.b.) and PCB (223 +/- 145 and 124 +/- 65.7 p.p.b.), followed by the termiticide chlordane residues oxychlordane and transnonachlor.


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October 3, 2014