Dioxin and dioxin-like PCB exposure of non-breastfed Dutch infants

P. J M Weijs*, M. I. Bakker, K. R. Korver, K. van Goor Ghanaviztchi, J. H. van Wijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The exposure of humans to PCDD/Fs (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans) and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs, i.e. polychlorinated non-ortho and mono-ortho biphenyls) occurs predominantly via the intake of food. Young children have a relatively high intake of these substances, due to their high food consumption per kilogram body weight. As the exposure of non-breastfed infants to these compounds has not been assessed before in The Netherlands, we studied the dietary intake of 17 PCDD/Fs and 11 dioxin-like PCBs in 188 Dutch non-breastfed infants between 4 and 13 months. The food intake of the infants was assessed by a 2-d food record. From these data PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB intake was calculated using PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB concentrations of food products sampled in 1998/1999 in The Netherlands. The long-term PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB exposure of the infants was calculated using the statistical exposure model (STEM). For infants of 5 months the chronic exposure to PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB was 1.1 pg WHO-TEQ (toxic equivalents) per kilogram body weight (bw) per day (95th percentile: 1.7 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw · d), which mainly originated from infant formula and vegetables and increased to 2.3 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw · d (95th percentile 3.7 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw · d) for infants just over 1 year old eating the same food as their parents. The percentage of formula-fed infants with an exposure exceeding the TDI of 2 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw · d was 5% at 5 months, 49% at 9 months and 64% at 12 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1525
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

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