Author(s): Moser GA, McLachlan MS
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Abstract The gastrointestinal exchange of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins, and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) as well as hexachlorobenzene was measured in five volunteers. The dietary intake and the fecal excretion of the chemicals were quantified and the net absorption/net excretion was calculated as the difference between these two fluxes. Experiments were conducted using an elevated dietary intake and a reduced dietary intake of chemical, and the results were compared with the absorption during normal dietary intake. The net absorption varied widely with the dietary intake for those compounds which bioaccumulate in humans; high dietary intake of chemical resulted in absorption approaching 100\% of intake, while low dietary intake resulted in a net excretion several times greater than the dietary intake. In contrast to net absorption, the chemical flux in the feces was largely independent of the dietary intake of chemical for a given individual. Good agreement was found between the feces/blood distribution coefficients measured in this study and in a study with contaminated workers whose blood concentrations were several orders of magnitude higher, indicating that fecal excretion of chemical is linearly proportional to the blood concentration. The results suggest that gastrointestinal exchange can be viewed as two processes operating simultaneously: absorption of contaminant from the diet, and excretion of contaminant from the body's reservoirs via the feces. By subtracting that component of the fecal flux originating from the body, the maximum dietary absorption could be calculated. This was >95\% for most of the compounds, decreasing to a minimum of 50-60\% for the octachlorinated dioxins and furans. The maximum dietary absorption showed a Kow dependency consistent with the two film model of gastrointestinal absorption of persistent organic chemicals.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation