Dioxin and dioxin-like PCB exposure of non-breastfed Dutch infants

Chemosphere. 2006 Aug;64(9):1521-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2005.12.022. Epub 2006 Jan 25.


The exposure of humans to PCDD/Fs (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans) and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs, i.e. polychlorinated non-ortho and mono-ortho biphenyls) occurs predominantly via the intake of food. Young children have a relatively high intake of these substances, due to their high food consumption per kilogram body weight. As the exposure of non-breastfed infants to these compounds has not been assessed before in The Netherlands, we studied the dietary intake of 17 PCDD/Fs and 11 dioxin-like PCBs in 188 Dutch non-breastfed infants between 4 and 13 months. The food intake of the infants was assessed by a 2-d food record. From these data PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB intake was calculated using PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB concentrations of food products sampled in 1998/1999 in The Netherlands. The long-term PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB exposure of the infants was calculated using the statistical exposure model (STEM). For infants of 5 months the chronic exposure to PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB was 1.1pg WHO-TEQ (toxic equivalents) per kilogram body weight (bw) per day (95th percentile: 1.7pg WHO-TEQ/kg bwxd), which mainly originated from infant formula and vegetables and increased to 2.3pg WHO-TEQ/kg bwxd (95th percentile 3.7pg WHO-TEQ/kg bwxd) for infants just over 1 year old eating the same food as their parents. The percentage of formula-fed infants with an exposure exceeding the TDI of 2pg WHO-TEQ/kg bwxd was 5% at 5 months, 49% at 9 months and 64% at 12 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dioxins / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food / analysis*
  • Infant Food / standards
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*


  • Dioxins
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls