Humans are exposed to the environmental pollutants 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) and 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP) through air, the use of water and the consumption of products. In this study, we evaluated the urinary concentrations of these compounds in Korean people between the ages of 18 to 69 years, by making use of data from the Korean National Human Biomonitoring Survey that was completed in 2009. Of 1865 representative Koreans, 63.4% and 97.9% were found to have concentrations of 2,4-DCP and 2,5-DCP > 0.05 μg/L (limit of detection) in their urine, respectively. The geometric mean of urinary concentrations was 0.14 μg/L (confidence interval of 95% = 0.13–0.16) and 0.44 μg/L (confidence interval = 0.41–0.48), respectively. It was found that the adjusted proportional changes in 2,4-DCP concentrations were significantly associated with body mass index, whereas those of 2,5-DCP concentrations were influenced by place of residence. From these findings, it is evident that most adults in Korea have levels of 2,4-DCP and 2,5-DCP that are detectable in their urine and the burden of these compounds on their bodies varies depending on numerous demographic factors.
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