Main content area

Characterising the individual health risk in infants exposed to organochlorine pesticides via breast milk by applying appropriate margins of safety derived from estimated daily intakes

Hernik, A., Góralczyk, K., Struciński, P., Czaja, K., Korcz, W., Minorczyk, M., Łyczewska, M., Ludwicki, J.K.
Chemosphere 2014 v.94 pp. 158-163
DDD (pesticide), DDE (pesticide), DDT (pesticide), HCH (pesticide), average daily intake, breast feeding, breast milk, hexachlorobenzene, infants, lindane, margin of safety, milk secretion, mosses and liverworts, normal values, risk
Milk secretion being an important way of elimination of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) poses a concern due to potential risk for breastfed infants. This study aims to provide a tool for assessing such risks to infants exposed to OCPs (through accumulation in the mother’s body), using calculated individual margins of safety (MoS). Selected OCPs included; p,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDD, p,p′-DDE, β-HCH, γ-HCH and HCB which were analysed in 28 samples of maternal milk. The highest intakes were recorded for p,p′-DDE (at 2.90μgkg−1bwd−1) whilst the lowest was for γ-HCH, (at 0.019μgkg−1bwd−1). For the risk characterisation purposes MoSs were calculated for the compounds for which toxicological reference values (e.g. ADI, TDI) were adopted. The MoS for average ∑DDT concentrations was found to be relatively low (2.82) somewhat similar to that for HCB at 7.08, and for γ-HCH, the MoS was substantially higher at 263.1. This, however does not take into account the extremely high individual concentrations. Thus, it was decided to calculate estimated daily intake (EDI) values based on OCP levels in individual milk samples. MoS levels of <1 (meaning unacceptable risk) were noted both for HCB in one sample as well as for ∑DDT in 3 samples indicating likely threats to infant’s health. The lowest MoS noted for γ-HCH equalled to 60.6, indicating that this compound was not a threat to the health of any of the breastfed infants from the study group.