Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as well as dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs)) are potentially hazardous compounds in the environment for human beings. In order to investigate PCB and dioxin exposure of Dutch women and their neonates, levels were examined in 418 mother-infant pairs. Four non-planar PCB congener levels (PCB 118, 138, 153 and 180) were measured in maternal plasma and in umbilical cord plasma. The 209 mothers who breast-fed their infants collected human milk samples for the analysis of seventeen 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD and PCDF congener levels, three planar PCB and twenty-three non-planar PCB congener levels. The dioxin and planar PCB levels we measured in human milk (mean 30 respectively 16 pg TEQ/g fat), belong to the highest background levels analysed all over the world but they are in the normal range for highly industrialised, densely populated countries in Western Europe. Correlation coefficients between PCB 118, 138, 153 and 180 congener levels in maternal plasma and PCB levels in cord plasma or PCB and dioxin levels in human milk are highly significant. However, the 95% predictive interval is too wide to predict accurately the PCB and dioxin levels to which an individual infant is exposed in utero or postnatally by breast-feeding, from the PCB levels in maternal plasma.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/0045-6535(94)90428-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/59878
Journal Chemosphere
Koopman-Esseboom, C, Huisman, M, Weisglas-Kuperus, N, van der Paauw, C.G, Tuinstra, L.G.M.Th, Boersma, H, & Sauer, P.J.J. (1994). PCB and dioxin levels in plasma and human milk of 418 Dutch women and their infants. Predictive value of PCB congener levels in maternal plasma for fetal and infant's exposure to PCBs and dioxins. Chemosphere, 28(9), 1721–1732. doi:10.1016/0045-6535(94)90428-6