Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides in cord serum of newborns in Wuhan, China

Jing Fang, Hongxiu Liu, Hongzhi Zhao, Shunqing Xu*, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) had been widely used in China before they were banned decades ago due to the concern of the toxicology to human. Previous reports showed that OCPs were still often detectable in human bodies. However, there is limited study concerning the body burden of OCPs in infants and fetus in China. In this study, the prenatal exposure to OCPs was evaluated by measuring OCPs in cord serum. A total of 1046 cord serum samples were collected in Wuhan during 2014 and 2015, and analyzed for the concentrations of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethanes (DDDs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylenes (DDEs) by using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC–MS/MS). The median levels of ∑HCHs and ∑DDTs were 10.1 ng/g lipid (with the range from <LOD to 1910 ng/g lipid) and 35.5 ng/g lipid (with the range from 0.18 to 11,100 ng/g lipid), respectively. β-HCH and p,p’-DDE were found to be the major OCPs presenting in the cord serum samples. A minor positive association between the serum levels of α-HCH and β-HCH was observed, and the concentrations of o,p′- and p,p′-DDT isomers were found positively associated. The OCP exposure levels obtained in this study were comparable to those data from other areas in China and much lower than some of highly polluted countries. The prenatal exposure to OCPs would be of concern since fetuses were more vulnerable than adults and the cord serum is an accurate non-invasive matrix for monitoring of prenatal exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-766
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cord serum
  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Wuhan


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