BACKGROUND: Only limited data exist on lactation as an exposure source of persistent perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) for children. OBJECTIVES: We studied occurrence and levels of PFCs in human milk in relation to maternal serum together with the temporal trend in milk levels between 1996 and 2004 in Sweden. Matched, individual human milk and serum samples from 12 primiparous women in Sweden were analyzed together with composite milk samples (25-90 women/year) from 1996 to 2004. RESULTS: Eight PFCs were detected in the serum samples, and five of them were also above the detection limits in the milk samples. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) were detected in all milk samples at mean concentrations of 0.201 ng/mL and 0.085 ng/mL, respectively. Perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were detected less frequently. DISCUSSION: The total PFC concentration in maternal serum was 32 ng/mL, and the corresponding milk concentration was 0.34 ng/mL. The PFOS milk level was on average 1% of the corresponding serum level. There was a strong association between increasing serum concentration and increasing milk concentration for PFOS (r(2) = 0.7) and PFHxS (r(2) = 0.8). PFOS and PFHxS levels in composite milk samples were relatively unchanged between 1996 and 2004, with a total variation of 20 and 32% coefficient of variation, respectively. CONCLUSION: The calculated total amount of PFCs transferred by lactation to a breast-fed infant in this study was approximately 200 ng/day. Lactation is a considerable source of exposure for infants, and reference concentrations for hazard assessments are needed.
High body burdens of persistent halogenated organic pollutants (POPs) among pregnant and nursing women are of concern because of exposure of the growing foetus and breast-feeding infant. We examined the temporal trends of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in milk samples from Swedish women. POPs were analysed in individual mother's milk samples from randomly recruited primiparas (N=335) who lived in Uppsala County and delivered between 1996 and 2006. Results were adjusted for life-style factors that are associated with POP body burdens. PCB levels declined 3.9-8.6% per year. The levels of PCDDs decreased faster (6-9% per year) than the levels of PCDFs (3-6% per year). Temporal trends of PBDEs did not follow any consistent pattern. Concentrations of BDE-47 and BDE-99 decreased, while the concentrations of BDE-153 increased. No change in BDE-100 concentrations was observed. In most samples, concentrations of HBCD were below the quantification limit (
We analyzed two nitro musks (musk xylene and musk ketone) and five polycyclic musks (HHCB, AHTN, ADBI, ATII, and AHDI) in mother's milk from primiparae women (N = 101) living in Uppsala County, Sweden, 1996-2003. Possible temporal trends in musk concentrations and associations with lifestyle/medical factors, such as use of perfumed products during pregnancy were studied. HHCB showed the highest median concentration (63.9 ng/g lipid) followed by AHTN (10.4 ng/g) and musk xylene (MX) (9.5 ng/g). Concentrations of the other substances were, in most cases, below the quantification limit (2.0-3.0 ng/g). Women with a high use of perfume during pregnancy had elevated milk concentrations of HHCB, and elevated concentrations of AHTN were observed among women reporting use of perfumed laundry detergent. This strongly suggests that perfumed products are important sources of musk exposure both among the mothers and the nursed infants. Concentrations of AHTN and MX declined significantly between 1996 and 2003, suggesting a decline in the industrial use of the compounds in consumer products, or alterations in the consumer use pattern of perfumed products. No temporal trend in HHCB concentrations was seen. The lack of toxicity data makes it difficult to generalize about the safety of musk exposure of breast-fed infants.