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Environ Int. 2012 Jul;42:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2011.03.022. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Levels and profiles of PCDD/Fs, PCBs in mothers' milk in Shenzhen of China: estimation of breast-fed infants' intakes.

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Department of POPs Lab, Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 21, 1st Road Tianbei, Luohu District, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518020, PR China.


Sixty breast milk samples were collected in Shenzhen, China from July to November in 2007. The samples were analyzed of the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The range of upper-bound for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs) in the samples was 4.10-35.3 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid (median: 10.6 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid; mean: 11.9 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid). The levels of the measured contaminants in the breast milk had significant correlations with the length of inhabitation period in Shenzhen (r=0.487, p<0.05 for PCDD/Fs, r=0.431, p<0.05 for PCBs and r=0.478, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)), and the consumption rate of fish (r=0.366, p<0.05 for PCDD/Fs, r=0.486, p<0.05 for PCBs and r=0.416, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)), respectively. Moreover, significant positive correlations were also detected between the participant's age (r=0.305, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-PCBs and r=0.275, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)) and the body burdens of these contaminants respectively. It is estimated that the daily intake (EDI) of the sum of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs by the breast-fed infants was 5.60-161 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day (mean: 48.2 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day; median: 42.2 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day). The result showed that both the body burdens of PCDD/Fs and PCBs of the recruit population and the calculated EDI of the breast-fed infants were higher than those in the non-exposed areas in mainland China. This suggests that continuous surveillance on PCDD/Fs and PCBs levels in human milk is critical to more precisely evaluate the human health risk posed by the negative environmental impact in Shenzhen in the future.

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