Total TEQ reference range (PCDDs, PCDFs, cPCBs, mono-PCBs) for the US population 2001-2002

Donald G. Patterson, Wayman E. Turner, Samuel P. Caudill, Larry L. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We report reference ranges for the total toxic equivalency (TEQ) and TEQ sub-fractions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), coplanar biphenyls (cPCBs), and mono-ortho-substituted biphenyls (mPCBs) in a statistically designed sampling of the US population in 2001-2002. The TEQ and TEQ sub-fractions have been stratified by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. The TEQ levels are lower using the 2005 toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) compared to using the 1998 TEF values, principally due to the much lower 2005 TEF values assigned to the mPCBs. Mexican Americans (MA) have significantly lower TEQ levels than both non-Hispanic whites (NHW) and non-Hispanic blacks (NHB). Using the 1998 or 2005 TEF values, males and females have nearly the same distribution of TEQ sub-fractions. We found a significant increase in TEQ levels with age for males, females, and NHW. About 80-90% of the total TEQ can be estimated by using seven congeners, namely 2,3,7,8-TCDD, 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDD, 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD, 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF, PCB-126, PCB-118, and PCB-156. We also measured geometric mean TEQ levels in pooled samples from the US population. The geometric mean TEQ levels also increase with age. In the youngest age group (12-19 years), the TEQ levels were higher in males than in females while females had higher TEQ levels than males in all older age groups. In the pools, as age increases the percent contribution of the PCDD TEQ levels increases while the percent contribution of the PCDF TEQ levels decreases for all race/ethnicity and sex strata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S261-S277
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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