Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The contamination of human milk by organochlorine compounds (OCs) raises the question of the content of toxic substances in this important food matrix. Due to their tendency to bioaccumulate, OCs reach quite a high concentration in organisms at the top of the food-chain. Determinations of PCBs and chlorinated pesticides have long been performed and, more recently, PCDDs and PCDFs have also been determined. The analytical methods widely employed for PCB determination do not generally allow for an isomeric-specific quantification of the planar congeners, which are present in very low concentrations. Consequently, there is a scarcity of data concerning these compounds, some of which have toxic characteristics which may be expressed in terms of Toxicity Equivalents (TE) of 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Samples of human milk were collected in the cities of Florence, Milan, Pavia and Rome according to the 1987 World Health Organisation (WHO) protocol for the determination of PCDDs and PCDFs. Both individual and pooled samples were analysed for isomer-specific determination of PCBs in two different laboratories. Analysis involved isotopic dilution of samples, solvent extraction of fat, concentrated H(2)SO(4) treatment, and high-resolution GC determination, with either EC or MS detection.

Additional information

Authors: TURRIO-BALDASSARRI L, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma (IT);DI DOMENICO A, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma (IT);IACOVELLA N, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma (IT);LARSEN B R, JRC Ispra (IT);FACCHETTI S, JRC Ispra (IT);NILSSON T, JRC Ispra (IT);MONTAGNA M, University of Pavia, Istituto di Medicina Legale e delle Assicurazioni (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 12th International Symposium on Chlorinated Dioxins and Related Compounds, Tampere (FI), August 24-28, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36908 ORA
Record Number: 199210840 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en