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Sci Total Environ. 2013 May 1;452-453:155-62. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.02.057. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and polychlorinated biphenyls in human milk from different regions of France.

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CART Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Organic and Biological Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry Department, University of Liège, Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.


We report on the pilot study carried out before the start of the Elfe project (French longitudinal study from childhood). A total of 44 samples of mature human milk were collected at home 8 weeks after delivery. A total of 7 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), 10 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 12 dioxin-like (DL) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 6 non dioxin-like (NDL)-PCBs were measured. For total TEQ (PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs), the geometric mean concentration was 17.81 pg TEQ(WHO05)/g lipids. Relative PCDD, PCDF, and DL-PCB contributions to the arithmetic mean TEQ(WHO05) were 38%, 18%, and 44%, respectively. The use of TEF(WHO05) instead of TEF(WHO98) resulted in a 27% reduction of the total TEQ value. Although PCDD levels did not significantly change (less than 0.5% increase), PCDF and DL-PCB levels both decreased by 35% and 38%, respectively. Levels have been compared to data obtained during a previous non-reported national study conducted in 1998 (TEF(WHO98)) in French lactaria (n=244). The mean of PCDD/Fs has decreased about 39.4% (18.8 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in 1998 vs 11.4 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in pilot study), respectively 41.5% for PCDDs (10.6 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in 1998 vs 6.2 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in pilot study) and 36.7% for PCDFs (7.9 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in 1998 vs 5.0 pg TEQ(WHO98)/g lipids in pilot study). For the sum of the 6 NDL-PCBs, the 2007 geometric mean concentration in milk was 176.3 ng/g lipids. The arithmetic mean lipid concentration in 2007 breast milk was 26.4 g/l (range from 6.0 to 46.7 g/l). A PCDD/F and DL-PCB daily intake was estimated to be 62.3 pg TEQ(WHO05)/kg body weight per day (85.0 pg TEQ(WHO98)/kg body weight per day) for a baby of 5 kg of body weight fed daily with 700 ml of maternal milk containing 25 g/l of lipids.

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