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Levels of selected PBDEs and PCBs in Belgian human milk

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  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Mathematical & Earth Sciences :: Chemistry [G01]
  • Physique
  • Chimie
  • Mathématiques & Sciences De La Terre :: Chimie [G01]
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Rapid Screening of PCDD/Fs : Comparison LEVELS OF SELECTED PBDES AND PCBs IN BELGIAN HUMAN MILK Catherine Pirard, Edwin De Pauw and Jean-François Focant Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, University of Liège, B6c Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium. E-mail : [email protected] Introduction Since few years, some concerns appeared regarding the presence of polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in our environment1. Those chemicals are used as flame retardant in virtually most of our surrounding man-made materials. Despite the great protection those chemicals offer, they also can act as precursors for polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs)2 that are suspected to express similar toxicities than their chlorinated homologs3. Additionally, depending of their route of incorporation in the synthetic materials, PBDEs can relatively easily leach out during their life-time, even if no fire is involved. They can therefore become available to humans that are exposed via food consumption and air particulates breathing. As in the case of dioxins and related compounds, PBDEs are characterized by high lipophilic properties and are willing to bio accumulate. Although increasing levels have been reported in human last years4, very limited toxicological data are available so far5. It is however believed that thyroid hormone disruption, neurodevelopmental effects and, in a certain extend, cancer, can be listed as potential toxicological endpoints6. Developing babies and infants therefore represent one of the most sensitive layer of the population regarding exposure to those chemicals. The present study was carried out in order to give an estimate of the current PBDE background levels in breast milk of a selected Belgian population. Materials and methods Samples: Breast milk samples (N=14) issued from primi and multiparae women between the ages of 26 and 38. They were collected between August 2000 and April 2001 in Belgium (most of them in the c

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