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

  • Mitsuru Ando
  • Hiroshi Saito
  • Ichiro Wakisaka


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ando M (1978) Transfer of 2,4,5,2′,4′,5′-hexachlorobiphenyl and 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) 1,1,1-trichloroethane(p,p′-DDT) from maternal to newborn and suckling rat. Arch Toxicol 41:179–186PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen PH, Chang KT, Lu YD (1981) Polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in the toxic rice bran oil that caused PCB poisoning in Taichung. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 26:489–495PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Chu CK, Stella VJ, Bruckner JV, Jiang WD (1977) Effects of long term exposure to environmental levels of polychlorinated biphenyls on pharmacokinetics of pentobarbital in rats. J Pharmaceut Sci 66:238–241Google Scholar
  4. Curley A, Copeland MF, Kimbrough RD (1969) Chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides in organs of stillborn and blood newborn babies. Arch Environ Health 19:628–632PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Folch J, Lees M, Sloane-Stanley, GH (1951) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226:497–509Google Scholar
  6. Jensen S, Sundström G (1974) Structures and levels of most chlorobiphenyls in two technical PCB products and in human adipose tissue. AMBIO 3:70–76Google Scholar
  7. Kodama H, Ota H (1980) Transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls to infants from their mothers. Arch Environ Health 35:95–100PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kuratsune M, Yoshimura T, Matsuzaka J, Yamaguchi A (1972) Epidemiologic study on Yusho, a poisoning caused by ingestion of rice oil contaminated with a commercial brand of polychlorinated biphenyls. Environ Health Persp Experiment Issue 1:119–128Google Scholar
  9. Masuda Y, Kagawa R, Kuroki H, Kuratsune M, Yoshimura T, Taki I, Kusuda M, Yamashita F, Hayashi M (1978) Transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls from mothers to fetuses and infants. Fd Cosmet Toxicol 16:543–546Google Scholar
  10. Mes J, Doyle JA, Adams BR, Davies DJ, Turton D (1984) Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in milk and blood of Canadian women during lactation. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 13:217–223PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Nakamura A, Kashimoto T (1977) Studies on a calculation method for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) isomers. J Food Hyg Soc Japan 18:1–12Google Scholar
  12. Orberg J (1977) Placental and mammary transfer of two PCBs (2,4′,5-TCB and 2,2′,4,4′,5,5′-HCB) and their effect on reproductive capacity in mice. AMBIO 6:278–280Google Scholar
  13. Parkinson A, Robertson L, Safe L, Safe S (1980) Polychlorinated biphenyls as inducers of hepatic microsomal enzymes: structure activity rules. Chem-Biol Interactions 30:271–285Google Scholar
  14. Siddiqui MKJ, Saxena MC, Bhargava AK, Seth TD, Krishna Murti CR, and Kutty D (1981) Agrochemicals in the maternal blood, milk, and cord blood: a source of toxicants for prenates and neonates. Environ Res 24:24–32PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Taki I, Hisanaga S, Nagase Y (1969) Report of Yusho (chlorobiphenyl poisoning) in pregnant women and their fetuses. Fukouka Acta Medica 60:471–474Google Scholar
  16. Ugawa M, Nakamura A, Kashimoto T (1973) Studies on a calculation method for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) isomers. J Food Hyg Soc Japan 14:415–424Google Scholar
  17. Yakushiji T, Watanabe I, Kuwabara K, Yoshida S, Koyama K, Kunita N (1979) Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and organochlorine pesticides in human milk and blood collected in Osaka Prefecture from 1972–1977. Int Arch Occup Environ Hlth 43:1–15Google Scholar
  18. Yoshihara S, Nagata K, Wada I, Yoshimura H (1982) A unique change of steroid metabolism in rat liver microsomes induced with highly toxic PCB and PCDF. In: Sato R, Kato R (eds) Japan Scientific Societies Press-Wiley Interscience. Tokyo-New York, pp 407–408Google Scholar
  19. Yoshimura T (1974) Epidemiological study on Yusho babies to mothers who had consumed oil contaminated by PCB. Fukuoka Acta Medica 65:74–80Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuru Ando
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Saito
    • 1
  • Ichiro Wakisaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Health Sciences DivisionNational Institute for Environmental StudiesIbarakiJapan

Personalised recommendations