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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 89, Supplement 1, pp S54–S57 | Cite as

Les incidences des BPC et des dioxines sur la santé des enfants : considérations immunologiques

  • Helen Tryphonas
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Les contaminants de l’environnement comprennent les métaux potentiellement toxiques (le plomb, le cadmium et le mercure); les pesticides chlorés (le mirex, le toxaphène et l’hexachlorure de benzène); les dioxines et furanes chlorés; les hydrocarbures aromatiques; et les biphényles polychlorés. Bon nombre de ces substances chimiques ne se dégradent pas dans l’environnement naturel, mais se dissolvent facilement dans les huiles et s’accumulent donc dans les tissus adipeux des poissons, des oiseaux et des mammifères. Les humains y sont principalement exposés par l’ingestion d’aliments contaminés. Une série d’effets toxiques, notamment des effets sur le système immunitaire, ont été observés chez des animaux de laboratoire et des humains accidentellement exposés à ces substances chimiques. De telles études permettent de croire que le système immunitaire du foetus en cours de développement et du nouveau-né est particulièrement vulnérable aux effets toxiques des produits chimiques. Pour bien cerner l’ampleur du risque que posent ces produits pour la santé des enfants, il faudrait effectuer d’autres études épidémiologiques et mécanistes bien délimitées.

The Impact of PCBs and Dioxins on Children–s Health: Immunological Considerations

Abstract

Environmental contaminants include the potentially toxic metals lead, cadmium and mercury; the chlorinated pesticides mirex, toxaphene and hexachlorobenzene; chlorinated dioxins and furans; polyaromatic hydrocarbons; and polychlorinated biphenyls. While many of these chemicals are resistant to degradation in the natural environment, they dissolve readily in oils and thus accumulate in the fatty tissues of fish, birds and mammals. Human exposure is predominantly through the ingestion of contaminated food. An array of toxic effects including effects on the immune system have been described in experimental animals and in humans accidentally exposed to these chemicals. Such studies suggest that the immune system of the developing fetus and the newborn is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of chemicals. To fully appreciate the magnitude of risk these chemicals pose to children’s health, there is a need for additional carefully focussed epidemiologic and mechanistic studies.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Tryphonas
    • 1
  1. 1.Division de la recherche toxicologique, Bureau d’innocuité des produits chimiques, Direction des aliments, Direction générale de la protection de la santéPré TunneyOttawaCanada

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