The toxicological profile of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)

Fernandes, Alwyn R., Kilanowicz, Anna, Stragierowicz, Joanna, Klimczak, Michał and Falandysz, Jerzy (2022) The toxicological profile of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs). Science of the Total Environment, 837. ISSN 0048-9697

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The legacy of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) manufactured during the last century continues to persist in the environment, food and humans. Metrological advances have improved characterisation of these occurrences, enabling studies on the effects of exposure to focus on congener groups and individual PCNs. Liver and adipose tissue show the highest retention but significant levels of PCNs are also retained by the brain and nervous system. Molecular configuration appears to influence tissue disposition as well as retention, favouring the higher chlorinated (≥ four chlorines) PCNs while most lower chlorinated molecules readily undergo hydroxylation and excretion through the renal system. Exposure to PCNs reportedly provokes a wide spectrum of adverse effects that range from hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity and immune response suppression along with endocrine disruption leading to reproductive disorders and embryotoxicity. A number of PCNs, particularly hexachloronaphthalene congeners, elicit AhR mediated responses that are similar to, and occur within similar potency ranges as most dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and some chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), suggesting a relationship based on molecular size and configuration between these contaminants. Most toxicological responses generally appear to be associated with higher chlorinated PCNs. The most profound effects such as serious and sometimes fatal liver disease, chloracne, and wasting syndrome resulted either from earlier episodes of occupational exposure in humans or from acute experimental dosing of animals at levels that reflected these exposures. However, since the restriction of manufacture and controls on inadvertent production (during combustion processes), the principal route of human and animal exposure is likely to be dietary intake. Therefore, further investigations should include the effects of chronic lower level intake of higher chlorinated PCN congeners that persist in the human diet and subsequently in human and animal tissues. PCNs in the diet should be evaluated cumulatively with other similarly occurring dioxin-like contaminants.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We thank Drs. Richard Mural and Susan Maskery for commenting on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Clinical Breast Care Project with funds from the US Department of Defense through Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Rockville, MD. The opinions and assertions herein are those of the authors and in no way reflect the official position or opinions of the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or the government of the United States. Reviewing Editor: James Lyons-Weiler. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ahr mediated toxicity,endocrine-disruption,human exposure,neurotoxicity,relative potency,reproductive toxicity,pollution,waste management and disposal,environmental engineering,environmental chemistry,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2310
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 01:38
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155764


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