Sixty breast milk samples were collected in Shenzhen, China from July to November in 2007. The samples were analyzed of the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The range of upper-bound for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs) in the samples was 4.10-35.3 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid (median: 10.6 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid; mean: 11.9 pg TEQ g(-1) lipid). The levels of the measured contaminants in the breast milk had significant correlations with the length of inhabitation period in Shenzhen (r=0.487, p<0.05 for PCDD/Fs, r=0.431, p<0.05 for PCBs and r=0.478, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)), and the consumption rate of fish (r=0.366, p<0.05 for PCDD/Fs, r=0.486, p<0.05 for PCBs and r=0.416, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)), respectively. Moreover, significant positive correlations were also detected between the participant's age (r=0.305, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-PCBs and r=0.275, p<0.05 for ∑TEQ-(PCDD/Fs+PCBs)) and the body burdens of these contaminants respectively. It is estimated that the daily intake (EDI) of the sum of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs by the breast-fed infants was 5.60-161 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day (mean: 48.2 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day; median: 42.2 pg TEQ kg(-1) bw per day). The result showed that both the body burdens of PCDD/Fs and PCBs of the recruit population and the calculated EDI of the breast-fed infants were higher than those in the non-exposed areas in mainland China. This suggests that continuous surveillance on PCDD/Fs and PCBs levels in human milk is critical to more precisely evaluate the human health risk posed by the negative environmental impact in Shenzhen in the future.
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