Population-based biomonitoring of exposure to persistent and non-persistent organic pollutants in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: Results from hair analysis

Feng Jiao Peng, Claude Emond, Emilie M. Hardy, Nicolas Sauvageot, Ala'a Alkerwi, Marie Lise Lair, Brice M.R. Appenzeller*, The NESCAV project group for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental exposure of humans to pollutants has been associated with adverse health outcomes, but few studies have evaluated the multiple exposure of general populations. In the present study, we used hair analysis to assess the exposure of a general adult population (n = 497) in Luxembourg to 34 persistent and 33 non-persistent organic pollutants from 11 chemical families, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), and pyrethroid pesticides (PYRs). We detected 24 persistent and 29 non-persistent organic pollutants, with 17 pollutants being detected in more than 50% of hair samples. The median concentrations for pollutants detected in 100% of the samples were 0.37 pg/mg for lindane (γ-HCH), 0.15 pg/mg for hexachlorobenzene (HCB), 14.1 pg/mg for p-nitrophenyl (PNP), and 0.10 pg/mg for trifluralin. Each participant in this study had detectable levels of at least 10 of the pollutants analyzed, and 50% of participants had 19 or more, suggesting the simultaneous exposure to numerous different pollutants among our study population. Significant correlations were often found between pollutants from the same family, with the strongest being found between two PYR metabolites, trans/cis-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylic acid (Cl2CA) and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA). Results from multiple linear regression analyses showed that sex, age and/or body mass index were significantly associated with 15 out of the 17 frequently detected pollutants. The current study is the first nationwide biomonitoring investigating organic contaminants in the Luxembourg population using hair analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106526
Pages (from-to)106526
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Environmental exposure
  • General adult population
  • Hair analysis
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Multiclass POPs
  • Multiclass pesticides


Dive into the research topics of 'Population-based biomonitoring of exposure to persistent and non-persistent organic pollutants in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: Results from hair analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this