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Chemosphere

Occurrence and levels of organochlorine compounds in human breast milk in Bangladesh.


PMID 22551873

Abstract

In low-income countries, the use of some organochlorine pesticides is still common in order to increase food production. Monitoring the chemical exposure is an important step in risk-reducing strategies. This is the first study to report concentrations of organochlorines in breast milk of women from Bangladesh where farming is the main income source. Organochlorines such as p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD (i.e., ∑DDT), HCB, α-, β- and γ-HCH, trans-chlordane, cis-chlordane, oxy-chlordane, trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor, mirex and polychlorinated biphenyls (CB 28, 52, 99, 101, 105, 114, 118, 123, 128, 138, 141, 149, 153, 156, 157, 163, 167, 170, 180, 183, 187, 189, 194) were analyzed in breast milk collected in 2002 from 72 first-time mothers (median age 20years) living in the rural area Matlab, Bangladesh. While the concentrations of PCBs and many of the pesticides were low, the concentrations of p,p'-DDT and its metabolite p,p'-DDE were high (median 349 and 1645ngg(-1)lipid, respectively) in comparison to other countries. The median value of ∑DDT was 2123ngg(-1)lipid. The estimated daily exposure to p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE and ∑DDTs was 10, 30 and 42μgkg(-1) body weight, respectively, in 3months old infants. The p,p'-DDE/p,p'-DDT ratio ranged from 1 to 23, where 58% of the mothers had a ratio below 5 indicating recent or ongoing DDT exposure. This study reports infant exposure and maternal body burden of organochlorines through breast milk. Although the findings give no reason to limit breast-feeding, it is essential to identify the main exposure sources and find means to decrease the exposure.

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