Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous toxic compounds in the environment. Negative influences of these compounds on the health status of human beings have been described. Especially susceptible might be the fetus, which is exposed in utero, and the newborn breast-fed infant, since both are exposed to relatively high levels of dioxins and PCBs during a critical period of organ growth and development. We investigated PCB levels in 406 maternal plasma samples as well as PCB and dioxin levels in 172 human milk samples with relation to living area of women living for at least five years in the western industrialized part of the Netherlands or the northern more rural part. The western part was further subdivided into one urban and two highly industrialized areas. After correction for covariates, we found significantly higher levels of PCB 118 in maternal plasma as well as significantly higher levels of the dioxin-TEQ and of ten individual dioxin and PCB congener levels in human milk in the western more industrialized areas of the Netherlands compared to the northern more rural part. We did not find significant differences in planar, mono-ortho or di-ortho PCB-TEQ levels in human milk between all different areas. We conclude that significantly higher levels of a number of dioxin and PCB congeners are found in women living in industrialized areas compared to women living in rural areas in the Netherlands.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Dioxins, Living area, PCBs, Women
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/0045-6535(94)90401-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/61224
Journal Chemosphere
Koopman-Esseboom, C, Huisman, M, Weisglas-Kuperus, N, Boersma, H, de Ridder, M.A.J, van der Paauw, C.G, … Sauer, P.J.J. (1994). Dioxin and PCB levels in blood and human milk in relation to living areas in the Netherlands. Chemosphere, 29(9-11), 2327–2338. doi:10.1016/0045-6535(94)90401-4