Certain Organochlorine and Organobromine Contaminants in Swedish Human Milk in Perspective of Past 20-30 Years

Chemosphere. May-Jun 2000;40(9-11):1111-23. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(99)00360-4.


The investigations of organochlorine compounds in breast milk from women living in the Stockholm region started in 1967. The present study summarises the investigations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), naphthalenes (PCNs), dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and pesticides (DDT, DDE, hexachlorobenzene, dieldrin) as well as methylsulfonyl metabolites of PCBs and DDE in human milk sampled during different periods up to 1997. During the course of 20-30 yr the levels of organochlorine compounds in human milk have decreased to various extent. A decrease to the half of the original concentration was attained in the range of 4-17 yr periods. On the contrary to the organochlorine compounds, the concentrations of PBDEs have increased during the period 1972-1997, indicating a doubling of the levels by 5 yr. The levels reflect the environmental contamination and background levels in the population. The accumulation and ongoing increase in the levels of PBDEs calls for immediate measures to stop the environmental pollution and human exposure to PBDEs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzofurans / analysis
  • Bromine Compounds / analysis*
  • DDT / analysis
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis
  • Dieldrin / analysis
  • Female
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Hexachlorobenzene / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / analysis
  • Insecticides / analysis*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Naphthalenes / analysis
  • Phenyl Ethers / analysis
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analysis
  • Sweden


  • Benzofurans
  • Bromine Compounds
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • Insecticides
  • Naphthalenes
  • Phenyl Ethers
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • pentabromodiphenyl ether
  • DDT
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Dieldrin