Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls in human milk in Osaka City, Japan

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2005 Jul;49(1):131-40. doi: 10.1007/s00244-004-0051-y. Epub 2005 Jun 22.


Forty-eight human milk samples were collected from primiparous mothers in Osaka City from June 1999 to January 2000 and analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (CoPCBs). Mean toxic equivalents (TEQs) in the milk were 13.86 pg I-TEQ/g fat or 16.50 pg World Health Organization (WHO)-TEQ/g fat for PCDDs and PCDFs; 9.87 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat for CoPCBs; and 23.74 pg TEQ/g fat using I-TEQ values of PCDDs and PCDFs or 26.36 pg TEQ/g fat using WHO-TEQ values of PCDDs and PCDFs for total PCDDs, PCDFs, and CoPCBs. The TEQ levels of these chemicals in human milk in Osaka City were in the range of levels in human milk surveyed in Japan, but the TEQ levels of PCDDs and PCDFs and total PCDDs, PCDFs, and CoPCBs from our study were slightly higher than average TEQ levels in human milk in Japan. When comparing our data with the latest data from the United States and some European countries, the TEQ levels of PCDDs and PCDFs in human milk from Osaka City were relatively high, whereas those of CoPCBs were ranked as being of intermediate level. Only TEQ values of CoPCBs in human milk were found to correlate with the increasing age of mothers and their estimated intake of seafood during the year before pregnancy. Concentrations of PCBs 105 and 118 contributed to TEQ values of CoPCBs associated with seafood intake, whereas those of PCBs 156, 157, 114, 189, 167, and 169 contributed to TEQ values of CoPCBs associated with increasing maternal age.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzofurans / analysis*
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Diet Surveys
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analysis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population


  • Benzofurans
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls