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Title: Socioeconomic development as a determinant of the levels of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in the inhabitants of Western and Central African countries
Authors: Luzardo, Octavio P. 
Boada, Luis D. 
Carranza, Cristina
Ruiz-Suárez, Norberto
Henríquez Hernández, Luis Alberto 
Valerón, Pilar F. 
Zumbado, Manuel 
Camacho, Maria 
Pérez Arellano, José Luis 
UNESCO Clasification: 32 Ciencias médicas
3212 Salud pública
Keywords: Persistent organic pollutants
Polychlorinated biphenyls
Organochlorine pesticides
e-waste, et al
Issue Date: 2014
Journal: Science of the Total Environment 
Abstract: Several studies of environmental samples indicate that the levels of many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are increasing in Africa, but few studies have been conducted in humans. Simultaneously, many African countries are experiencing a rapid economic growth and implementing information and communication technologies (ICT). These changes have generated high amounts of electronic waste (e-waste) that have not been adequately managed. We tested the hypothesis that the current levels of two main classes of POPs in Western and Central African countries are affected by the degree of socioeconomic development. We measured the levels of 36 POPs in the serum of recent immigrants (N = 575) who came from 19 Sub-Saharan countries to the Canary Islands (Spain). We performed statistical analyses on their anthropometric and socioeconomic data. High median levels of POPs were found in the overall sample, with differences among the countries. Organochlorine pesticide (OCP) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels increased with age. People from low-income countries had significantly higher OCP levels and much lower PCB levels than those from high-income countries. We found a significant association between the implementation of ICT and PCB contamination. Immigrants from the countries with a high volume of imports of second-hand electronic equipment had higher PCB levels. The economic development of Africa and the e-waste generation have directly affected the levels of POPs. The POP legacies of these African populations most likely are due to the inappropriate management of the POPs residues.
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.124
Source: Science of the Total Environment [ISSN 0048-9697], v. 497-498, p. 97-105, (2014)
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