DDT residues in human milk samples from Delhi, India

Zaidi, S.S.; Bhatnagar, V.K.; Banerjee, B.D.; Balakrishnan, G.; Shah, M.P.

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 42(3): 427-430

1989


ISSN/ISBN: 0007-4861
PMID: 2706354
DOI: 10.1007/bf01699971
Document Number: 366968
Possible contamination of human milk through the excretion of DDT and its metabolites is a concern in India, where DDT is widely used as an insecticide. To assess this risk, milk samples collected from 60 lactating women admitted to hospitals in Delhi were quantitatively analyzed. 55 of the 60 milk samples showed evidence of residues of pp'DDE (mean, 0.176 + or - 0.382 ppm), op'DDT (mean, 0.046 + or - 0.011 ppm), and pp'DDT (mean, 0.122 + or - 0.434 ppm). The mean residue level in milk fat (mg/kg fat) was 7.280 + or - 23.240, 1.428 + or - 2.697, and 1.597 + or - 5.936, respectively. A large variation in individual values was observed. The finding that pp'DDE is the DDT metabolite excreted into human milk at the highest level is consistent with previous research. Daily intake of total DDT averaged 0.062 mg/kg of body weight--a value that is 12 times higher than the acceptable level of DDT (0.005 mg/kg/day) set by the World Health Organization. Although no harmful effects of DDT have been recorded to date in breastfed infants in India, preventive measures aimed at reducing the body burden of DDT in lactating women are urged.

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