Two remote maritime populations were evaluated for their biological exposure to organochlorines in 1989-1990. Because of their high intake of seafood, these two populations have high biological levels. One hundred nine breast milk samples from Inuit women from Arctic Québec were analyzed to determine levels of polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) including non-ortho, mono-ortho, and di-ortho congeners. Total 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEqs) for PCBs were 3.5 times higher in Inuit milk samples than in 96 Caucasian milk samples. Among the 185 fishermen from the Lower North Shore of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence River, we evaluated 10 highly exposed fishermen for their coplanar PCB blood levels. Total TEqs were 900 ng/kg for highly exposed individuals with 36 ng/kg for controls. In these two nonoccupationally exposed populations, coplanar PCBs make a larger contribution to the TEq than PCDDs and PCDFs. However, the mono-ortho penta CB No. 118 is the major contributor for the total toxicity.
Cites: J Pediatr. 1990 Jan;116(1):38-452104928
Cites: Crit Rev Toxicol. 1990;21(1):51-882124811
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 1992 Jul 15;122(1-2):75-1341514106
Cites: Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1991 Oct;47(4):491-81786431
Inuit people (Eskimos) are likely exposed to persistent organochlorine compounds because their traditional diet includes fatty tissues of the arctic marine biota. Here we present the results of organochlorine compound analysis in milk fat samples from arctic Québec Inuit women and in fat tissues from various animal species inhabiting that region. The total concentration of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in Inuit milk fat was similar to that of the beluga, while the profile of the 10 congeners resembled that of the polar bear. Mean concentrations of various organochlorines in milk-fat samples from Inuit women were between 2 and 10 times greater than those found in samples previously collected from southern Québec women. The Inuit mothers exhibit the greatest body burden known to occur from exposure to organochlorine residues present in the environment by virtue of their location at the highest trophic level of the arctic food web.
This study documented the concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (DDE) in the breast milk of women from Quebec, Canada, and assessed the impact of various sociodemographic and lifestyle factors on these levels.
From 1988 to 1990, milk samples were obtained from 536 Quebec women and analyzed for seven PCB congeners and p,p'-DDE. Information was obtained on subjects' physical, sociodemographic, and lifestyle characteristics.
Mean concentrations were 0.52 mg/kg lipids (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.50, 0.54) and 0.34 mg/kg lipids (95% CI = 0.32, 0.35) for PCBs (Aroclor 1260) and DDE, respectively. Age and history of breast-feeding showed statistically significant correlations with PCB and DDE concentrations.
Concentrations of PCBs and DDE measured in this study are at the lower end of the concentration range recently reported for women living in industrialized countries. The modulating factors identified here should be considered when conducting studies on organochlorine exposure and disease.
Cites: Pediatrics. 1981 Sep;68(3):411-56792587
Cites: Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1981 Oct;27(4):506-117306714