Urinary concentrations of non-persistent environmental pollutants (npEPs) are widely assessed in biomonitoring studies under the assumption that they are metabolised and eliminated in urine. However, some of these chemicals are moderately lipophilic, and their presence in other biological matrices should also be evaluated to estimate mid/long-term exposure to npEPs and its impact on human health. The present study aims to explore concentrations and potential determinants of npEPs in adipose tissue from a hospital-based adult cohort (GraMo cohort, Southern Spain).
Concentrations of bisphenol-A (BPA), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), triclosan (TCS), three chlorophenols (2,4-DCP, 2,5-DCP and 2,4,5-TCP) and two phenylphenols (2-PP and 4-PP), triclocarban (TCCB) and parabens [methyl- (MeP), ethyl- (EtP), propyl- (n-PrP and i-PrP), butyl- (n-BuP and i-BuP) and benzyl-paraben (BzP)] were analysed in adipose tissue samples from a subcohort of 144 participants. Spearman correlation tests were performed, followed by stepwise multivariable linear regression analyses to assess determinants of the exposure.
Detection frequencies and median concentrations were: BPA (86.8%, 0.54 ng/g tissue), BP-3 (79.2%, 0.60 ng/g tissue), TCS (45.8%, <LOD), 2-PP (18.8%, <LOD), MeP (100.0%, 0.40 ng/g tissue), EtP (20.1%, <LOD) and n-PrP (54.2%, 0.06 ng/g tissue). The remaining npEPs were detected in <10% of the samples. BPA, MeP, EtP and n-PrP levels were significantly and positively correlated, while BP-3 showed a positive correlation with TCS and 2-PP. Older participants showed higher concentrations of TCS and MeP, while BMI was inversely associated with most of the analysed compounds and perceived recent weight loss was inversely associated with 2-PP. Female participants and residents of rural areas had increased BP-3 concentrations. npEP concentrations were positively associated with the consumption of fatty food but negatively associated with the consumption of vegetables and fruit.
This study reveals the widespread presence of numerous npEPs in adipose tissue from adults in southern Spain, suggesting a generalized distribution of these environmental compounds in fatty tissues. In these adults, many of the determinants of npEP concentrations in adipose tissue were similar to those of more lipophilic and persistent compounds.