Levels of PCDDs, PCDFs, and dioxin-like PCBs in human milk among Hong Kong mothers
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AbstractDioxins are a family of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed under the Stockholm Convention, and include PCDDs, PCDFs, and dioxin-like PCBs. These toxic chemicals are carcinogenic, widely dispersed, and have long half-lives. They have contaminated the food web and, being fat-soluble, accumulate in adipose tissues and milk in the human body. To assess human exposure, we collected breast milk samples from 137 first-time mothers recruited from around Hong Kong. Samples were analysed by HRGC-HRMS in four pools, according to the subject's age and length of residency. Exposure was related to age, duration of stay, and possibly diet. Generally, older mothers, and mothers with a longer stay in Hong Kong, had higher levels of dioxins in their milk. This pattern was clearest for the PCBs, although deviations were observed for some of the PCDD/Fs. Mean concentrations, measured per gram of lipid weight in terms of WHO toxic equivalents (WHO-TEQs), were 7.48 pg/g for PCDD/Fs and 3.79 pg/g for PCBs, giving a total of 11.27 pg/g for PCDD/Fs and PCBs combined. Compared to an earlier Hong Kong study we conducted in 2002, the mean WHO-TEQ values in our latest findings were about 9% lower overall for PCDD/Fs and 19% lower for PCBs, with the mean total WHO-TEQ for PCDD/Fs and PCBs being around 13% lower in this study. This indicates a general declining trend in the levels of POPs in Hong Kong. However, our levels were still high when compared to those in some other Asian-Pacific countries. More stringent policies on reducing and eliminating POPs should help to lower these. Continued surveillance for POPs in human milk, as well as in common foodstuffs, will provide us with important information on human exposures that will be necessary for tracking our progress, and making future health risk assessments. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
All Author(s) ListWong TW, Wong AHS, Nelson EAS, Qiu H, Ku SYK
Journal nameScience of the Total Environment
Volume Number463
Pages1230 - 1238
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsDiet; Dioxins; Hong Kong; Human milk; PCBs; Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Web of Science Subject CategoriesEnvironmental Sciences; ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology

Last updated on 2020-26-05 at 01:11