39. Dioxins/furans and PCBs in Canadian human milk: 2008 – 2011 (abstract)

Rawn DFK , Sadler AR, Casey VA, Breton F, Sun WF, Arbuckle TE, Fraser WD. Science of the Total Environment  2017 Oct 1;595:269-278. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.157

Human milk was collected between 2008 and 2011 as part of the Maternal – Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study that was initiated to establish Canadian national estimates of maternal and infant exposure to a broad suite of environmental contaminants (e.g., persistent organic pollutants [POPs], trace elementsphthalates, etc.). Among the 1017 human milk samples collected, 298 were analysed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). World Health Organization (WHO) toxic equivalency concentrations (WHO TEQ2005) for PCDD/F + dioxin-like (DL) PCB ranged from 2.2 pg TEQ2005 g− 1 lipid to 27 pg TEQ2005 g− 1 lipid. The relative contribution of PCDDs to the overall WHO TEQ2005 (PCDD/F + DL PCB) has decreased from earlier investigations into POP levels in Canadian human milk. Significantly higher PCB concentrations were observed in milk from women born in Europe relative to those born in Canada (p < 0.001), in contrast to results for the PCDD/Fs (p = 0.496). Age was found to significantly impact milk ∑ PCB concentrations (p = 0.018), with elevated concentrations observed in milk from women > 30 years relative to those < 30 years of age. While this trend was also observed for the PCDD/Fs, this relationship was impacted by parity. WHO TEQ2005 concentrations were significantly higher in milk from primiparous women (p = 0.019) and those > 30 years relative to those < 30 years of age (p < 0.001). No significant differences were associated with education level or pre-pregnancy body mass index. PCB and PCDD/F concentrations have continued to decline in Canadian human milk since the last sampling of human milk was performed.

Graphical abstract

WHO TEQ2005 concentrations in Canadian human milk over time (1992–2008/11).

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