Decrease in levels and body burden of dioxins, dibenzofurans, PCBS, DDE, and HCB in blood and milk in a mother nursing twins over a thirty-eight month period

Chemosphere. Oct-Nov 1998;37(9-12):1807-16. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(98)00246-x.


This paper presents measured dioxin, dibenzofuran, PCB, DDE and HCB blood and milk levels and estimated body burdens in a mother who nursed twins for thirty-eight months. A total of thirteen milk samples and three blood samples were collected and analyzed. Measured PCDD and PCDF levels in milk decreased from 309 and 21 ng/kg (ppt) to 173 and 9 ng/kg, respectively, between March 1993 and September 1995. Based on the decrease in breast milk dioxin levels, we estimate that the nursing mother reduced her dioxin body burden from 310 to 96 ng dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs), or approximately 69%. In two and one half years the level of HCB in the mother's milk decreased from 10.7 to less than 1.8 ng/g (ppb), the level of DDE decreased from 246 to 46 ng/g and the total level of non-coplanar PCBs decreased from 285 to 63 ng/g, on a lipid basis. We estimate that the twin's consumption of dioxins, dibenzofurans, and coplanar PCBs from breast feeding was approximately 115 ng TEQ per twin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzofurans / analysis
  • Benzofurans / pharmacokinetics
  • Body Burden
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / pharmacokinetics
  • Dioxins / analysis
  • Dioxins / pharmacokinetics
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Hexachlorobenzene / analysis
  • Hexachlorobenzene / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / pharmacokinetics
  • Twins


  • Benzofurans
  • Dioxins
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls