The risk estimation and assessment of heavy metal exposure by biomonitoring in the breast milk of mothers in the Cukurova Region, Turkey


Nazlıcan E. , Arica E., Gören İ. E. , Kilincli B., Mete B. , Dağlıoğlu N.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-021-16602-7
  • Title of Journal : ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH
  • Keywords: Breast milk, Heavy metal, ICP-MS, Exposure, Risk assessment, ESSENTIAL TRACE-ELEMENT, CADMIUM LEVELS, LACTATING WOMEN, LEAD LEVELS, CORD BLOOD, 1ST MONTH, MERCURY, CONSUMPTION, CHROMIUM, AREAS

Abstract

Toxic heavy metals released into the environment through various industrial processes have potential adverse effects on the environment and human health. In order to reveal these adverse health effects, it is vital to carry out toxicological studies by performing biomonitoring. This study aimed to assess the level of Cr, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb in the breast milk samples of mothers in the Cukurova region, Turkey, and its association with health risk to infants. Ten-milliliter postpartum milk samples were collected from 34 breast-feeding mothers in the first 2 months of their postpartum period and living in the Cukurova region, Adana. The measurement of target heavy metals levels was performed by using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The average breast milk levels of Cr, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb were 8.25, 1.64, 0.37, 2.60, and 12.12 mu g/L, respectively. Evaluation of breast milk samples for these toxic heavy metals revealed the high exposure level for Cr and As. However, the mothers who participated in the study were not occupationally exposed to these metals. This study showed that Cr, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb cross the placenta and blood-brain barrier prenatally and accumulate in breast milk postnatally.