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Chemosphere. 2015 Jan;118:309-14.

Persistent organic pollutants in matched breast milk and infant faeces samples.

Abstract

Assessing blood concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in infants is difficult due to the ethical and practical difficulties in obtaining sufficient quantities of blood. To determine whether measuring POPs in faeces might reflect blood concentration during infancy, we measured the concentrations of a range of POPs (i.e. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)) in a pilot study using matched breast milk and infant faecal samples obtained from ten mother–child pairs. All infants were breast fed, with 8 of them also receiving solid food at the time of faecal sampling. In this small dataset faecal concentrations (range 0.01–41 ng g(−1) lipid) are strongly associated with milk concentrations (range 0.02–230 ng g(−1) lipid). Associations with other factors generally could not be detected in this dataset, with the exception of a small effect of age or growth. Different sources (external or internal) of exposure appeared to directly influence faecal concentrations of different chemicals based on different inter-individual variability in the faeces-to-milk concentration ratio Rfm. Overall, the matrix of faeces as an external measure of internal exposure in infants looks promising for some chemicals and is worth assessing further in larger datasets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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