Transfer of Chemicals throughout Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding
Chemosphere, 70(4):712-720 (2008) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.06.037
Results of this study indicate severe persistence of organochlorine pesticides in Australia. Yet again, human milk is used as a proxy to assess exposure to pesticides. In this study, a collection of 157 samples of human milk collected during 2002 and 2003 and 24 samples from 1993 is tested. Seventeen organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were detected in all milk samples from 2002 and 2003. Results find that although there was an initial decline of exposure following the ban of OCPs in Australia in the 1980’s, minute decline has been observed since then. Moreover, by separating human milk samples into regional pools it was also found that specific OCPs remain higher in specific regions. For example, those used for termite control were commonly found in urban areas; revealing that exposure to these OCPs 20 years after discontinued use are not caused by global transportation of the pesticides but in fact historical usage.
DETECTION OF 2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXYACETIC ACID (2,4-d) RESIDUES IN NEONATES BREAST-FED BY 2,4-D EXPOSED DAMS. Sturtz N et al.,
Neurotoxicology, 21(1-2):147-54 (2000) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10794394
This study performed on nursing rats suggests a connection between materal exposure to the pesticide 2,4-D and adverse affects of her offspring. Authors recognize the importance of nutritional status early in life and the level of activity produced later in life. Residues from breast-feeding were found “in stomach content, blood, brain and kidney of 4-day-old neonates” and dependent on dose and exposure time. “The highest dose impaired body growth, as well as low tissue weights and diminished stomach contents.”
COMBINED ANALYSIS OF PRENATAL (MATERNAL HAIR AND BLOOD) AND NEONATAL (INFANT HAIR, CORD BLOOD AND MECONIUM) MATRICES TO DETECT FETAL EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL PESTICIDES. Ostrea EM Jr. et al.,
Environmental Research. 109(1):116-22, (2009) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19019354
A total of 598 mother and infant pairs from an agricultural area in the Philippines were incorporated in this study, all with considerable domestic and farmstead use of various pesticides. Samples were taken from both the mother via hair and blood and the infant via hair, cord blood and meconium obtained after birth The highest rates of pesticide residues were detected in the meconium of infants. Conclusions show significant exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to pesticides, especially the household pesticides, propoxur and pyrethroids.
Environmental Working Group, (2005) http://www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php
Researchers at two major laboratories found upwards of 200 indust
rial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of ten newborns. This in-depth study includes concise and helpful graphs that accompany each aspect of the research. The testing procedures are very expensive to conduct, thus it is rare to see such a study with more than 10 to 15 subjects. Interestingly, this study included blood testing for chemical body burden of three adults including a US Congressman.
This study pushes us to realize that not only are children exposed to currently allowed consumer pesticides but also chemicals that were once permitted and are now banned or restricted for public health reasons.
BREAST-FEEDING EXPOSURE OF INFANTS TO SELECTED PESTICIDES: A PUBLIC HEALTH VIEWPOINT. Pohl, H.R. et al.,
Toxicololgy and Industrial Health 16:65–77 (2000) http://tih.sagepub.com/content/16/2/65.abstract
This toxicological study found that infant exposure via breast milk to organochlorine pesticides: DDT, DDE, HCB and HCH is significant. The authors subsequently recommend a public health risk evaluation for infant exposure to organochlorine pesticides and other extremely sensitive demographics.