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Issue 5, 2010
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A probabilistic approach for estimating infant exposure to environmental pollutants in human breast milk

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Abstract

Effective risk assessment and management are often hampered by a lack of reliable exposure data. The probabilistic exposure assessment approach takes into account individual variations in exposure, and thus, overly conservative estimates based on worst case scenarios can be avoided. The aim was to provide reliable information on the intake of non-dioxinlike (NDL) and dioxinlike PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs in breastfed infants and their mothers during 2000–2006. Hence, a probabilistic model was developed to estimate the exposure and compare it with a deterministic exposure assessment approach. The estimated probabilistic mean intake in 1, 3 and 6 months old infants was 44, 31 and 17 pg total-TEQ/kg bw per day, and 418, 294 and 165 ng NDL-PCBs/kg bw per day, respectively. Intakes differed up to 41% between the upper-bound percentiles of the probabilistic approach and the deterministic worst case scenario approach, whereas no difference in mean values was observed between the two approaches. The median cumulative intake increased during 6 months of breastfeeding to 20 ng total-TEQ and 352 μg NDL-PCBs. There was a significant temporal decrease in infant exposure during 2000–2006 (30%). Less than 4% of the mothers had an intake exceeding the TDI of 2 pg TEQ/kg bw per day (median: 1.2 pg total-TEQ/kg bw). To conclude, by use of a probabilistic approach and biomonitoring data we were able to calculate reliable estimates of infant exposure to environmental pollutants and the daily intakes of the nursing mothers using the same data.

Graphical abstract: A probabilistic approach for estimating infant exposure to environmental pollutants in human breast milk

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Article information


Submitted
21 Jul 2009
Accepted
30 Nov 2009
First published
20 Jan 2010

J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 1029-1036
Article type
Paper

A probabilistic approach for estimating infant exposure to environmental pollutants in human breast milk

C. Bergkvist, S. Lignell, S. Sand, M. Aune, M. Persson, H. Håkansson and M. Berglund, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 1029 DOI: 10.1039/B914504D

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