Levels of dechlorane plus and polybrominated diphenylethers in human milk in two Canadian cities

Environ Int. 2012 Feb;39(1):50-5. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Flame retardant dechlorane plus (DP) and several polybrominated diphenylether (PBDE) congeners have been measured in 87 human milk samples collected in two Canadian cities: Kingston and Sherbrooke. The levels of PBDEs in human milk (mean (median), ng g(-1) lipid weight=10 (5.9), 4.1 (2.8), 3.0 (1.6), 5.12 (1.6), and 15 (ND) for BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153, and BDE-209, respectively) were comparable to those reported in Europe, U.S.A. and China. The levels of DP, with a mean value of 0.98 ng g(-1) and a median value of 0.60 ng g(-1) (lipid weight), were two to ten times lower than those of concurrently measured major PBDEs including BDE-209. While there is little difference in the levels of measured contaminants in milk samples collected from the two cities, the contaminants levels in human milk show, indicated by Principal Components Analysis, that DP, deca-BDE, and penta-BDE come from three distinct sources. The mean and median isomer ratio values of DP in milk were 0.67 and 0.69, respectively, very similar to that of DP commercial products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cities
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Flame Retardants / analysis*
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls / analysis*


  • 2,2',4,4',5-brominated diphenyl ether
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Flame Retardants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • hexabrominated diphenyl ether 153
  • pentabrominated diphenyl ether 100
  • 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether
  • decabromobiphenyl ether