Author(s): Feeley M, Brouwer A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Global contamination by a variety of anthropogenic persistent organic chemicals, such as dioxins and PCBs, has resulted in human exposure throughout all phases of development. Detectable concentrations of PCBs and dioxins have been found in amniotic fluid, placenta and foetal tissue samples while infants who are breast-fed can obtain blood levels greater than those of their mother's. In two separate food poisoning episodes where infants were exposed in utero to elevated levels of heat-degraded PCBs (PCBs, PCQs, PCDFs), a variety of adverse mental and physical developmental abnormalities have been observed. In additional human cohorts where exposure could be considered as environmental or background, more subtle effects, including lower birth weights, alterations in thyroid hormones and lymphocyte subpopulations and detriments in neurological development, have been consistently seen. In most instances, negative associations were made between in utero exposure to contaminants compared with lactational. Although the observed neurodevelopmental deficits have been described as subtle, there could be unknown consequences related to future intellectual functionality. Current regulatory efforts should focus on identification and control of environment and food chain contamination as in utero exposure is a direct consequence of the accumulated maternal body burdens.
This article was published in Food Addit Contam
and referenced in Modern Chemistry & Applications