The Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on Reproductive Health

Caroline Cramblit, Torie Cochran, Holly Barlage, and Dr. Kerry Cheesman, Department of Biology, Capital University, 1 College and Main, Columbus OH 43209

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic organic chemicals used in various industrial and commercial settings, including electrical equipment. Over many decades PCBs have found their way into the environment and have been shown to cause severe health defects in both animals and humans. Previous research indicates that PCBs have had adverse effects on the reproductive health of many organisms, especially PCBs with fewer number of chlorine atoms on the molecule. This study was designed to examine correlations between PCBs and the reproductive health of women. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) assesses the health and nutritional status of millions of Americans. It combines interviews and physical examinations of millions of participants on a two year cycle, beginning in 1999. The current study utilized the NHANES database to statistically analyze the PCB levels in human blood samples over twenty years and compare them to reproductive health of women, particularly menstrual patterns and rate of conception. This study found that there was not a significant correlation between levels of PCBs in the blood and the reproductive health of women. The percentages of women who tried for over a year to conceive and women who saw a physician because they could not conceive were dramatically lower than the percentages of individuals that had detectable PCBs in their blood. Data showed approximately nine percent of women having trouble conceiving versus 40-100% with detectable levels of the various PCBs.  This study has allowed a further understanding of the impacts of PCBs on public health and could help design further research on the association between reproductive health of women and PCBs.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Caroline Cramblit, Torie Cochran, Holly Barlage

Institution: Capital University

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 3
Date/Time: Mon 4:30pm-5:30pm
Session Number: 3098