Specific accumulation and elimination kinetics of tris(4-chlorophenyl)methane, other persistent organochlorines in humans from Japan

Tu Binh Minh, Mafumi Watanabe, Shinsuke Tanabe, Taketo Yamada, Jun Ichi Hata, Shaw Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


We examined human adipose tissue, liver, and bile from humans in Japan to understand the contamination status, specific accumulation, and elimination of two newly identified environmental contaminants, tris(4-chlorophenyl)methane (TCPMe), tris(4-chlorophenyl)methanol (TCPMOH), and other persistent organochlorines such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and chlordane compounds (CHLs). TCPMe and TCPMOH concentrations in Japanese human adipose tissue were slightly higher than those reported previously, indicating widespread exposure to these compounds in humans. Elevated residues of PCBs and DDTs are found in adipose tissue and liver. Concentrations in bile strongly correlated with concentrations in adipose fat and liver, which may suggest an equilibration in adipose fat/bile and liver/bile and possible biliary excretion of persistent organochlorines in humans. Composition of the organochlorines accumulated further indicates a metabolic capacity in humans higher than that of marine mammals. We observed age-dependent accumulation for TCPMe, TCPMOH, and other organochlorines, but there were no significant gender differences. p,p′-DDE and TCPMe were estimated to have low biliary excretion rate. Elimination potential of persistent organochlorines may be related to their octanol-water partition coefficient. The relationship between excretion rate and octanol-water partition coefficient may be used to predict the biliary excretion potential of some other lipophilic organochlorines such as dioxins and dibenzofurans in humans. The presence of organochlorines in bile suggests that the hepatic excretory system plays a major role in the elimination of xenobiotics in humans. To our knowledge, this is the first study of accumulation and elimination of TCPMe and TCPMOH in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-935
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-dependent accumulation
  • Biliary excretion
  • Humans
  • Persistent organochlorines
  • Tissue distribution
  • Tris(4-chlorophenyl) methane
  • Tris(4-chlorophenyl) methanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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