Polychlorinated naphthalenes and other organochlorine contaminants in Swedish human milk, 1972-1992

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1998 May;34(4):414-23. doi: 10.1007/s002449900338.


The concentrations of polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) were determined together with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 1,1-bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (p,p'-DDT), 2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in milk, sampled in the course of 1972-92 from mothers living in Stockholm. A previously developed method for multicomponent analysis of organochlorine environmental contaminants was adapted for simultaneous analysis of PCNs. The mean recoveries of seven chlorinated naphthalene (CN) congeners added to milk prior to extraction were 76-99%. Similar recoveries were obtained for the commercial PCN product Halowax 1014. The pattern of PCNs in milk differed to a great extent from that in the commercial PCN products. The dominating congeners in breast milk were 1,2,3,5,7-pentachloronaphthalene (CN-52), 1,2,3,4,6,7- and/or 1,2,3,5,6,7-hexachloronaphthalene (CN-66/ CN-67) and one unidentified tetrachloronaphthalene. There was a notable decrease in the concentrations of PCNs as was of the other organochlorine contaminants in milk from 1972 to 1992. During this time period the sum of CN congeners decreased from 3,081 to 483 pg/g milk fat and the sum of toxic equivalents of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds decreased from 100 to 39 pg/g milk fat.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzofurans / analysis
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / analysis*
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Naphthalenes / analysis*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Sweden


  • Benzofurans
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Naphthalenes
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls