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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Foods and Nutrition

First Advisor

Michael J. Crews


Human adipose tissue was analyzed for organochlorine pesticide residues. The specimens were obtained from unembalmed cadavers. Demographics and information regarding the subjects' medical history was obtained from the medical charts. Subjects' ages ranged from 53 to 81 years. All subjects were male. The diseases of greatest incidence were cardiovascular disease and malignancy. All samples were analyzed by packed-column gas chromatography and peaks were confirmed on a secondary column. Quantitation was determined by standard methodology. Levels of o,p' DDT tended to increase with age. The occupation with the highest levels of heptachlor epoxide was the farmers/ranchers. Heptachlor epoxide levels were highest in the rural category. Subjects with cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had higher hexachlorobenzene levels than subjects with malignancy. Because these chemicals are readily retained in adipose tissue, some important questions should be raised. Do the current pesticide levels in adipose tissue pose a risk to our health? Some of these chemicals were banned in U.S. in the 1970's but are still used in other countries. Are the pesticide residues on the food imported into the U.S. affecting our health? The purpose of this research was to analyze the current level of selected organochlorine pesticides in humans in relation to chronic disease state, medical history, employment, residence and age. The intent of the research was to yield information that could assist in understanding organochlorine biotransformation and its effects in the human body.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Organochlorine compounds -- Physiological effects

Pesticides -- Physiological effects

Adipose tissues -- Analysis



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University