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    The Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) program provides useful information on chemical exposure, serves as the basis for environmental health policies, and suggests appropriate measures to protect public health. Initiated on a three-year cycle in 2009, it reports the concentrations of major environmental chemicals among the representative Korean population. KoNEHS Cycle 3 introduced children and adolescents into the analysis, where the blood and urine samples of 6167 participants were measured for major metals, phthalates, phenolics, and other organic compounds. Lead, mercury, cadmium, metabolites of DEHP and DnBP, and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid levels of the Korean adult population tended to decrease compared to previous survey cycles but remained higher than those observed in the US or Canada. Both bisphenol A (BPA) and trans,trans-muconic acid concentrations have increased over time. Heavy metal concentrations (blood lead, and cadmium) in children and adolescents were approximately half that of adults, while some organic substances (e.g., phthalates and BPA) were high. BPA showed higher levels than in the US or Canada, whereas BPF and BPS showed lower detection rates in this cycle; however, as these are increasingly used as a substitute for BPA, further research is necessary. As environmental chemicals may affect childhood health and development, additional analyses should assess exposure sources and routes through continuous observations.


    Sun Kyoung Jung, Wookhee Choi, Sung Yeon Kim, Sooyeon Hong, Hye Li Jeon, Youngkyung Joo, Chulwoo Lee, Kyungho Choi, Sungkyoon Kim, Kee-Jae Lee, Jiyoung Yoo. Profile of Environmental Chemicals in the Korean Population-Results of the Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) Cycle 3, 2015-2017. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Jan 06;19(2)

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    PMID: 35055445

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