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J Environ Monit. 2011 Nov;13(11):3136-44. doi: 10.1039/c1em10469a. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

A pilot study of pesticides and PCBs in the breast milk of women residing in urban and agricultural communities of California.

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Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, School of Public Health, University of California, 1995 University Ave, Suite 265, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.


Currently, there is no nationally representative human milk biomonitoring program in the United States (U.S.) and no studies have reported non-persistent pesticides in the milk of U.S. women. In this pilot study we developed a multiresidue laboratory method to measure non-persistent and persistent pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in human milk samples from women residing in the agricultural region of Salinas, CA (n = 13) and the urban San Francisco Bay Area, CA (n = 21). Samples were collected from 2002-2007. Median concentrations in pg g(-1) milk among urban and agricultural women, respectively were reported for: chlorpyrifos (24.5 and 28.0), cis-permethrin (81.9 and 103), trans-permethrin (93.1 and 176), hexachlorobenzene (191 and 223), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (220 and 443), o,p'-DDT (36.6 and 62.4), p,p'-DDT,(107 and 102), o,p'-DDE (5.65 and 5.17), p,p'-DDE (3170 and 3490), dacthal (2.79 and 3.43), PCB 118 (92.8 and 17.0), PCB 138 (183 and 38.2), PCB 153 (242 and 43.6) and PCB 180 (239 and 683). Among urban women, median concentrations were 4.02 and 4.32 pg g(-1) milk for chlorpyrifos-methyl and propoxur, respectively. These results suggest that neonates and young children may be exposed to persistent and non-persistent pesticides and PCBs via breast milk.

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