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J Environ Sci Health B. 2013;48(4):243-50. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2013.742413.

Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in Korean human milk: contamination levels and infant risk assessment.

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  • 1National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation, Korea Food and Drug Administration, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea.


The levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were determined in 50 samples of Korean human milk. POPs include organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) [aldrin, chlordanes, dieldrin, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), endrins, heptachlors, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), mirex, and toxaphenes] and marker PCBs (PCB28, PCB52, PCB101, PCB138, PCB153 and PCB180). In all samples, p,p'-DDE were determined as 75.5-1115.3 ng/g fat. The compounds β-HCH and p,p'-DDT were detected at 72% and 60% of the samples, respectively. Chlordanes (nd-84.9 ng/g fat) heptachlors (nd-40.1 ng/g fat), HCB (nd-42.9 ng/g fat) and PCBs (nd-38.3 ng/g fat) were detected in several samples. The ratio of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethylene (DDE)/DDT was 6.8, which explained that exposure of volunteers to DDT did not occur recently. Compared with the previous monitoring data, the level of marker PCBs generally decreased in the milk samples. The levels of OCPs are significantly correlated to the residential periods of the mothers but not with their dietary habits. Considering the daily intake of each OCPs, 18% of infants would ingest the amount of heptachlor exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI) proposed by World Health Organization (WHO). There was no sample surpassing the WHO ADI for DDTs, HCB and chlordanes.

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