Objective: Several studies have shown that some organochlorine compounds (OCs) can interfere with the thyroid system. Thyroid hormones (THs) are essential for normal brain development, thus it is important to study the association between THs and OCs during pregnancy and childhood. We have evaluated the relation between thyroid function and OCs in pre-school children. Methods: Children from a general population birth cohort in Menorca (n=259), Spain, were assessed at the age of four years. Concentrations of thyroid hormones (free T4 and total T3), thyrotropin (TSH) and a range of OCs were measured in peripheral blood. Results: Blood levels of dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (p,p'-DDT), beta-hexachlorocylcohexane (β-HCH), polychlorinated biphenyls (congeners PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-118) were related to lower total T3 levels (p<0.05). In addition, free T4 was inversely associated with PCB-118, while no relation was found between TSH and any of the measured organochlorine compounds. Conclusions: This study suggests that even at background levels of exposure, OCs may affect thyroid system, particularly total T3 levels.
- organochlorine compounds
- thyroid hormones
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