Organochlorine pesticides belong to the class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They are deeply involved in environmental issues and represent a real threat for human health. The aim of this study was to assess the level of organochlorine pesticides contamination in human milk through two studies of POPs biomonitoring performed in 2010 and 2015 in Côte d'Ivoire. Primiparous breastfeeding mothers were selected from maternal and child healthcare centers in the district of Abidjan. A grouped human milk sample was prepared from individual sample collected from each mother. The grouped sample was frozen at -20°C, packaged and shipped to a World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratory in Germany for the determination of persistent organic pollutants. Analysis of samples from both studies revealed the presence of several organochlorine pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane (DDT), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), dieldrin, chlordane, heptachlor and heptachlorobenzene. Some organochlorine pesticides such as DDT (1073 to 491 ng/g) (54.24%), chlordane (5.7 to 3.6 ng/g) (36.84%), heptachlor (4 to 2 ng/g) (50%) and dieldrin (4.6 to 3.3 ng/g) showed an outstanding decrease. However, HCH and heptachlorobenzene increased in human milk from 2010 to 2015. Values increased from 13.8 to 18.2 ng/g for HCH and from 2.6 to 3.4 ng/g for heptachlorobenzene. Despite their ban, humans are still subject to a long term exposure to organochlorine pesticides.
Key words:Organochlorine pesticides, human milk, biomonitoring.
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