Article

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 51-57

First online:

Transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to newborn infants through the placenta and mothers' milk

  • Mitsuru AndoAffiliated withEnvironmental Health Sciences Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies
  • , Hiroshi SaitoAffiliated withEnvironmental Health Sciences Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies
  • , Ichiro WakisakaAffiliated withEnvironmental Health Sciences Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies

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Abstract

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in maternal blood, milk, placenta, and cord blood were examined by gas chromatography (ECD-GC) and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A significant linear correlation was found between the placental content of PCBs and that of the maternal blood and the milk. The greater the chlorine content of the PCB congeners, the more significant was this correlation. These phenomena may be due to the different lipophilic nature of each PCB congener. The placental transport of PCBs of the maternal blood to the cord blood is also different among PCB congeners. The analysis of the placenta and the cord blood for PCB is of value in estimating PCBs contamination in pregnant women and its transfer from the mother to the fetus.