Current concentrations, temporal trends and determinants of persistent organic pollutants in breast milk of New Zealand women

T Mannetje, A; Coakley, J; Bridgen, P; Brooks, C; Harrad, S; Smith, AH; Pearce, N; Douwes, J; (2013) Current concentrations, temporal trends and determinants of persistent organic pollutants in breast milk of New Zealand women. The Science of the total environment, 458. pp. 399-407. ISSN 0048-9697 DOI:

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Breast milk samples of 39 first time mothers aged 20-30 were collected in 2007-2010 from rural and urban areas of New Zealand, following the fourth World Health Organization coordinated survey protocol. Samples were individually analysed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The lipid adjusted concentrations of PCDD/Fs (mean toxic equivalent (TEQ): 3.54 pg/g) and PCBs (mean TEQ 129 pg/g) were low in comparison to those reported for other countries, and concentrations of dieldrin (10 ng/g) and p,p'-DDE (379 ng/g),and PBDEs were in the mid-range. Breast milk concentrations of PCDD/F-TEQ PCB-TEQ dieldrin and p,p'-DDE were significantly higher in rural compared to urban areas (+23%, 33%, 59%, and 44% respectively), while concentrations of several PBDEs and lindane were higher in urban areas. Concentrations of PCDD/Fs, PCBs and OCPs, but not PBDEs, increased with age, and higher body mass index was associated with lower concentrations of PCBs. Despite New Zealand's low body burdens of many chlorinated POPs in comparison to other countries, breast milk concentrations continued to decrease over time, with a decrease by half over the last 10 years for PCDD/F-TEQ(-40%), PCB-TEQ (-54%) and OCPs -34 to -90%), indicating that regulatory measures continue to have beneficial effects. Continued monitoring is needed particularly for the brominated POPs for which little New Zealand specific data is available. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Persistent organic pollutants, Organochlorine pesticides, Brominated, flame retardants, Human milk, New Zealand, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated-biphenyls, chlorinated compounds, northern germany, flame retardants, human exposure, mothers milk, indoor dust, human blood
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
Web of Science ID: 320901700045


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