Maternal body burden of organochlorine pesticides and dioxins

J AOAC Int. 1999 May-Jun;82(3):716-24.


To investigate the body burden of organochlorine pesticides and dioxins in Japanese women, 125 milk samples were collected from 41 mothers in 1994, 42 in 1995, and 42 in 1996. Of the 125 samples, 82 were from primipara mothers (first delivery) and 43 were from multipara mothers (second or later delivery). By using capillary gas chromatography with electron capture detection, beta-HCH and p,p'-DDE were detected as the major chlorine pesticides in human milk. Average levels of beta-HCH and p,p'-DDE were 475 and 368 ng/g lipid, respectively, in primipara breast milk, 314 and 259 ng/g lipid in multipara breast milk, and 420 and 330 ng/g lipid in total breast milk. Dieldrin, heptachor epoxide, oxychlordane, trans-chlordane, and cis-chlordane were detected at lower average levels of 3, 4, 34, 41, and 5 ng/g lipid, respectively. By using high-resolution gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection, dioxins were detected in all samples. Average levels of total polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD), total polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF), total PCDD + PCDF, total coplanar polychlorinatedbiphenyl (CoPCB), and total dioxin were 10.0, 7.8, 17.7, 9.9, and 27.5 TEQ (toxic equivalent) pg/g lipid, respectively, in primipara breast milk; 7.0, 5.8, 12.8, 7.3, and 20.1 TEQ pg/g lipid in multipara breast milk; and 8.9, 7.1, 16.1, 8.9, and 25.0 TEQ pg/g lipid in total breast milk. In primipara breast milk, significant correlations were found among levels of beta-HCH, p,p'-DDE, total PCDD-TEQ, total PCDF-TEQ, total CoPCB-TEQ, and total TEQ except for less correlation between p,p'-DDE and total PCDF-TEQ. Levels of these analytes also significantly increased depending on mother's age, except for total Co-PCB-TEQ. For the correlation with food habit, the only positive correlation was between total PCDF-TEQs and fish intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Body Burden*
  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • DDT / analysis
  • Dieldrin / analysis
  • Diet
  • Dioxins / analysis
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / analysis
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / analysis*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Dioxins
  • Insecticides
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • DDT
  • Dieldrin
  • beta-hexachlorocyclohexane