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      Spatial and temporal trends of the Stockholm Convention POPs in mothers’ milk — a global review


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          Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been of environmental and health concern for more than half a century and have their own intergovernmental regulation through the Stockholm Convention, from 2001. One major concern is the nursing child’s exposure to POPs, a concern that has led to a very large number of scientific studies on POPs in mothers’ milk. The present review is a report on the assessment on worldwide spatial distributions of POPs and of their temporal trends. The data presented herein is a compilation based on scientific publications between 1995 and 2011. It is evident that the concentrations in mothers’ milk depend on the use of pesticides and industrial chemicals defined as POPs. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and “dioxins” are higher in the more industrialized areas, Europe and Northern America, whereas pesticides are higher in Africa and Asia and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are reported in higher concentrations in the USA. POPs are consequently distributed to women in all parts of the world and are thus delivered to the nursing child. The review points out several major problems in the reporting of data, which are crucial to enable high quality comparisons. Even though the data set is large, the comparability is hampered by differences in reporting. In conclusion, much more detailed instructions are needed for reporting POPs in mothers’ milk. Temporal trend data for POPs in mothers’ milk is scarce and is of interest when studying longer time series. The only two countries with long temporal trend studies are Japan and Sweden. In most cases, the trends show decreasing concentrations of POPs in mothers’ milk. However, hexabromocyclododecane is showing increasing temporal concentration trends in both Japan and Sweden.

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          The 2005 World Health Organization reevaluation of human and Mammalian toxic equivalency factors for dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

          In June 2005, a World Health Organization (WHO)-International Programme on Chemical Safety expert meeting was held in Geneva during which the toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for dioxin-like compounds, including some polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were reevaluated. For this reevaluation process, the refined TEF database recently published by Haws et al. (2006, Toxicol. Sci. 89, 4-30) was used as a starting point. Decisions about a TEF value were made based on a combination of unweighted relative effect potency (REP) distributions from this database, expert judgment, and point estimates. Previous TEFs were assigned in increments of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, etc., but for this reevaluation, it was decided to use half order of magnitude increments on a logarithmic scale of 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, etc. Changes were decided by the expert panel for 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.3), 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.03), octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and octachlorodibenzofuran (TEFs = 0.0003), 3,4,4',5-tetrachlorbiphenyl (PCB 81) (TEF = 0.0003), 3,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 169) (TEF = 0.03), and a single TEF value (0.00003) for all relevant mono-ortho-substituted PCBs. Additivity, an important prerequisite of the TEF concept was again confirmed by results from recent in vivo mixture studies. Some experimental evidence shows that non-dioxin-like aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists/antagonists are able to impact the overall toxic potency of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds, and this needs to be investigated further. Certain individual and groups of compounds were identified for possible future inclusion in the TEF concept, including 3,4,4'-TCB (PCB 37), polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, mixed polyhalogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polyhalogenated naphthalenes, and polybrominated biphenyls. Concern was expressed about direct application of the TEF/total toxic equivalency (TEQ) approach to abiotic matrices, such as soil, sediment, etc., for direct application in human risk assessment. This is problematic as the present TEF scheme and TEQ methodology are primarily intended for estimating exposure and risks via oral ingestion (e.g., by dietary intake). A number of future approaches to determine alternative or additional TEFs were also identified. These included the use of a probabilistic methodology to determine TEFs that better describe the associated levels of uncertainty and "systemic" TEFs for blood and adipose tissue and TEQ for body burden.
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            Exposure of Perfluorinated Chemicals through Lactation: Levels of Matched Human Milk and Serum and a Temporal Trend, 1996–2004, in Sweden

            Background Only limited data exist on lactation as an exposure source of persistent perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) for children. Objectives We studied occurrence and levels of PFCs in human milk in relation to maternal serum together with the temporal trend in milk levels between 1996 and 2004 in Sweden. Matched, individual human milk and serum samples from 12 primiparous women in Sweden were analyzed together with composite milk samples (25–90 women/year) from 1996 to 2004. Results Eight PFCs were detected in the serum samples, and five of them were also above the detection limits in the milk samples. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) were detected in all milk samples at mean concentrations of 0.201 ng/mL and 0.085 ng/mL, respectively. Perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were detected less frequently. Discussion The total PFC concentration in maternal serum was 32 ng/mL, and the corresponding milk concentration was 0.34 ng/mL. The PFOS milk level was on average 1% of the corresponding serum level. There was a strong association between increasing serum concentration and increasing milk concentration for PFOS (r 2 = 0.7) and PFHxS (r 2 = 0.8). PFOS and PFHxS levels in composite milk samples were relatively unchanged between 1996 and 2004, with a total variation of 20 and 32% coefficient of variation, respectively. Conclusion The calculated total amount of PFCs transferred by lactation to a breast-fed infant in this study was approximately 200 ng/day. Lactation is a considerable source of exposure for infants, and reference concentrations for hazard assessments are needed.
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              Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) as new Stockholm Convention POPs--a global perspective on the management of Lindane and its waste isomers.

              Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers (α-, β- and γ- (Lindane)) were recently included as new persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Stockholm Convention, and therefore, the legacy of HCH and Lindane production became a contemporary topic of global relevance. This article wants to briefly summarise the outcomes of the Stockholm Convention process and make an estimation of the amount of HCH waste generated and dumped in the former Lindane/HCH-producing countries. In a preliminary assessment, the countries and the respective amount of HCH residues stored and deposited from Lindane production are estimated. Between 4 and 7 million tones of wastes of toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative residues (largely consisting of alpha- (approx. 80%) and beta-HCH) are estimated to have been produced and discarded around the globe during 60 years of Lindane production. For approximately 1.9 million tones, information is available regarding deposition. Countries are: Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, The Netherlands, UK, USA, and former USSR. The paper highlights the environmental relevance of deposited HCH wastes and the related POPs' contaminated sites and provides suggestions for further steps to address the challenge of the legacy of HCH/Lindane production. It can be expected that most locations where HCH waste was discarded/stockpiled are not secured and that critical environmental impacts are resulting from leaching and volatilization. As parties to the Stockholm Convention are legally required to take action to stop further POPs pollution, identification and evaluation of such sites are necessary.

                Author and article information

                +46-8-5195 4283 , fangsten@yahoo.se
                Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
                Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
                Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                26 April 2015
                26 April 2015
                : 22
                : 12
                : 8989-9041
                [ ]Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
                [ ]Department of Environmental Research and Monitoring, Swedish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 50007, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden
                [ ]Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Swetox), Forskargatan 20, 15136 Södertälje, Sweden
                Author notes

                Responsible editor: Hongwen Sun

                © The Author(s) 2015

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

                : 7 October 2014
                : 4 January 2015
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

                General environmental science
                breast milk,persistent organic pollutants,stockholm convention,ddt,dioxin,hch,hcb,pbde,hbcdd


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