Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Cancer: An Epidemiological Assessment

  title={Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Cancer: An Epidemiological Assessment},
  author={Claudia Zani and Giuseppe Toninelli and Barbara Filisetti and Francesco Donato},
  journal={Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C},
  pages={144 - 99}
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are toxic and persistent chemicals produced between 1930s and 1980s primarily for insulating fluids in heavy-duty electrical equipment in power plants, industries, and large buildings. They persist in the environment and accumulate in plants and animals, and have been classified as probable carcinogens to humans. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of scientific literature on the relationship between PCB exposure and human cancer. Two cohorts of… 

Polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in the population living in a highly polluted area in Italy

A preliminary study suggests that PCBs might play a role in HCC development, and investigates the association between PCB serum levels and hepatocellular carcinoma with a case–control study in a PCB-polluted area in North Italy.

Serum concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a case-control study in a highly polluted area in Italy

This preliminary study suggests that PCBs might play a role in HCC development, based on sufficient evidence for melanoma and limited evidence for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer.

Environmental Polychlorinated Biphenyl Exposure and Breast Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

A meta-analysis based on the selected studies found group II and group III PCB exposure might contribute to the risk of breast cancer.

The environmental pollutant, polychlorinated biphenyls, and cardiovascular disease: a potential target for antioxidant nanotherapeutics

The current state of knowledge of PCB toxicity and some of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nanocarrier systems that may be useful as an enhanced treatment modality for reducing PCB toxicity are discussed.

Polychlorinated biphenyl serum levels in subjects with hepatocellular carcinoma as compared with the general population

Findings do not support the hypothesis that PCBs play an important role in HCC development, although a contribution by some specific congeners cannot be ruled out.

Occupational and environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiology studies.

The meta-analysis found no association between PCB exposure and NHL risk, in particular in studies of occupational exposures, and PCBs are not likely to cause NHL in humans.

Polychlorinated biphenyls and breast cancer: A congener-specific meta-analysis.

Occupational exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of cutaneous melanoma: a meta-analysis

The results do not support the hypothesis of an association between PCB exposure and the risk of malignant melanoma and the quality of the studies and the methods for PCB exposure assessment.

Mortality after exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzofurans: A meta‐analysis of two highly exposed cohorts

This meta‐analysis of Yucheng and Yusho cohorts showed similar elevation from all cancer, lung cancer, heart disease and hepatic disease mortalities in exposed men, and a new finding of elevated liver cancer mortality in exposed women was identified.



Occupational exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and cancer risk

Overall, studies on occupational exposure to PCBs do not show any excess in all cancer mortality, or in mortality for specific cancer sites of interest, and epidemiological studies on workers occupationally exposed toPCBs are reviewed.

Plasma Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and Causation

The overall results presented here indicate a strong general causal association between NHL and PCB exposure, including an ecologic analysis of NHL incidence and PCB accumulation over time.

Occupational Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Risk of Breast Cancer

No overall elevation in breast cancer risk is found after occupational exposure to PCBs, however, the exposure-related risk elevations seen among nonwhite workers warrant further investigation, because the usual reproductive risk factors accounted for little of the increased risk.

Environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and breast cancer: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence

The epidemiological evidence does not support the hypothesis of an association of environmental exposure to PCBs in adulthood in the general population and risk of breast cancer, although uncertainties remain for selected subgroups of women or individual PCB congeners.

Blood levels of organochlorine residues and risk of breast cancer.

In this population of New York City women, breast cancer was strongly associated with DDE in serum but not with PCBs, suggesting that environmental chemical contamination with organochlorine residues may be an important etiologic factor in breast cancer.

Cancer mortality among electric utility workers exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls.

It is suggested that PCBs cause cancer, with malignant melanoma being of particular concern in this industry, as well as brain cancer among the most highly exposed men.

Plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and the risk of breast cancer: a congener-specific analysis.

Exposure to dioxin-like PCBs increases breast cancer risk, and the results may be explained by differences between cases and controls regarding metabolic pathways involved in the biotransformation of both mono-ortho PCBs and estrogens.

A cohort study of Swedish capacitor manufacturing workers exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

There was a significantly increased mortality from cardiovascular diseases among those employed for at least five years in high-exposed jobs, with a latency of 20 years and the reason for the excess of cardiovascular deaths in the high-exposure group is not known.

Carcinogenicity of “Non-Dioxinlike” Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Results from a chronic carcinogenicity study in rats indicate that not the dose of total PCBs but the total TCDD or toxic equivalents (TEQs) associated with “dioxinlike” (DL) constituents within a technical mixture are mainly if not exclusively responsible for the development of liver neoplasms in female rats.

Residential Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Organochlorine Pesticides and Risk of Childhood Leukemia

The findings suggest that PCBs, which are considered probable human carcinogens and cause perturbations of the immune system, may represent a previously unrecognized risk factor for childhood leukemia.