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Int J Legal Med. 2002 Feb;116(1):27-32.

Dioxin in infants--an environmental hazard?

Author information

1
University of Münster, Institute of Legal Medicine, Germany. bajano@uni-muenster.de

Abstract

The concentrations of the most common dioxin and dibenzofuran congeners were measured in different tissues (e.g. liver, kidneys, subcutaneous fatty tissue and spleen) from 27 infants who died suddenly and unexpectedly. The cases could be subdivided into 2 groups consisting of 15 infants who died in 1991/1992 and in 12 infants who died in 1996/1997. The autopsies were carried out using a standardised protocol and additionally the parents were asked to supply details of the nutritional conditions. The age of the mother and the birth order of the infants were also recorded. From the results obtained by correlating these parameters with the dioxin concentrations three main factors could be established: 1) there was a significant decrease in the total dioxin concentration in infant tissues from 1991/1992 to 1996/1997 indicating a decrease in the environmental dioxin levels due to a decrease in dioxin emission, 2) the birth order was inversely and the duration of breast feeding directly proportional to the dioxin concentrations thus showing that the mothers can decontaminate themselves by breast feeding and 3) an accumulation of specific dioxin congeners was observed in the liver tissue but the pathophysiological significance of these observations is not yet fully understood. Because of the well-known beneficial effects of breast feeding and considering the results of the present study, this type of infant nutrition can be recommended without any restrictions.

PMID:
11924704
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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