One hundred and five human adipose tissue samples were recovered during surgical operations or postmortem examinations of patients experiencing death due to traumatic injury. The sample donors were between the ages of 2 mo and 91 yr. Samples were analyzed by GLC‐MS techniques for polychlorobiophenyl (PCB) and dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) compounds, chlordanes, hexachlorobenzene, and chlorinated phenols. Special attention was paid to the concentration of heptachlor epoxide, a metabolite of heptachlor, commonly used as an insecticide in the Finnish plywood industry. The mean concentrations of PCB, DTTs, HCB, and chlordanes were 0.26, 0.33, 0.02, and 0.007 mg/kg fresh weight, respectively, while the mean concentration of heptachlor epoxide was 2.3 μg/kg. The geometric means were 0.20, 0.28, 0.018, 0.0055, and 0.002 mg/kg, respectively.
The concentrations of PCB and DDT compounds in Finnish human adipose tissue has rapidly decreased during the last 10 yr. The average concentrations were higher in south Finland than those in north Finland, and the results clearly indicate the prominent influence of fish meals and the age of sample donors on the pollutant concentrations in adipose tissue. The results were further analyzed and discussed with respect to sex, smoking habits, and number of childbirths of the sample donors.