Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in umbilical cord blood serum of newborns in Kingston, Jamaica

Mohammad H. Rahbar, Maureen Samms-Vaughan, Manouchehr Hessabi, Aisha S. Dickerson, Min Jae Lee, Jan Bressler, Sara E. Tomechko, Emily K. Moreno, Katherine A. Loveland, Charlene Coore Desai, Sydonnie Shakespeare-Pellington, Jody Ann Reece, Renee Morgan, Matthew J. Geiger, Michael E. O’Keefe, Megan L. Grove, Eric Boerwinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To date much of the biomonitoring related to exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine (OC) pesticides is from middle to high income countries, including the U.S., Canada and Europe, but such data are lacking for the majority of low to middle income countries. Using data from 64 pregnant mothers who were enrolled in 2011, we aimed to assess the concentrations of the aforementioned toxins in umbilical cord blood serum of 67 Jamaican newborns. For 97 of the 100 PCB congeners and 16 of the 17 OC pesticides, all (100%) concentrations were below their respective limits of detection (LOD). Mean (standard deviation (SD)) lipid-adjusted concentrations in cord blood serum for congeners PCB-153, PCB-180, PCB-206 and total PCB were 14.25 (3.21), 7.16 (1.71), 7.30 (1.74) and 28.15 (6.03) ng/g-lipid, respectively. The means (SD) for the 4,4′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE)-hexane fraction and total-DDE were 61.61 (70.78) and 61.60 (70.76) ng/g-lipid, respectively. Compared to the U.S. and Canada, the concentrations of these toxins were lower in cord-blood serum of Jamaican newborns. We discuss that these differences could be partly due to differences in dietary patterns in these countries. Despite limitations in our dataset, our results provide information on the investigated toxins in cord blood serum that could serve as a reference for Jamaican newborns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1032
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Jamaica
  • Kingston
  • Newborns
  • Organochlorine (OC) pesticides
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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