Organochlorine pesticide residues in breast milk in Armenia
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Yerevan State Medical University, Republic of Armenia
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, USA
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, USA
Institute of Environmental Health and Preventive Toxicology, Ministry of Health, Republic of Armenia
Corresponding author
Stephen J. Reynolds   

Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523,
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2007;1(1):84-88
The study evaluates organochlorine pesticide (OCP) exposure and the possible relationship with adverse birth outcomes through analysis of breast milk samples from a rural Armenian population in 1993-2000. 266 samples were randomly collected during the first 2-3 days after delivery. Residues of OCP (lindane, DDT, DDD/DDE) in breast milk were measured using gas chromatography. DDE consistently ranged from undetectable to 0.14 mg/l. DDT was detected twice (7%) in 2000, providing evidence of the illegal use of this banned pesticide. Total frequency of DDT/DDE detection was 77% and lindane 51%. Almost 8% of breast milk samples contained lindane, exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI) estimated by the WHO, and 20% exceeded the ADI for DDT/DDE. No differences in pesticide content were detected between the milk of primiparous and multiparous women. No correlation was found between levels of pesticide body burden and frequency of pregnancy/delivery complications, infant gender ratio, birth defects, or infant weight/height. There was some decrease of body mass and a statistically significant change of chest circumference among infants of mothers with detectable levels of OCP. A doubling in the frequency of pregnancy/delivery complications for those with OCP in their breast milk, though not statistically significant, is worrying. Further research is warranted involving a larger sample, possibly from rural and urban regions.
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