A study on pesticide residues in umbilical cord blood and maternal milk

C. Y. Yeh, P. H. Kuo, S. T. Tsai, G. Y. Wang, Y. T. Wang

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5 Citations (Scopus)


A survey on pesticide residues in umbilical cord blood and maternal milk was made from August 1974 to January 1975 in Taipei. All samples were extracted with normal hexane and analyzed by gas chromatography using an electron capture detector. This paper is a report on the concentration of seven compounds, α BHC, β BHC, γ BHC, δ BHC, o.p' DDT, p.p' DDT and malathion, in the cord blood of 100 subjects. In a separate study 12 samples of maternal milk collected from among the above 100 subjects were analyzed for the same compounds. Our observations indicated that the levels of DDT residues were low and only detected in a few samples, but the levels of BHC residues were high and detected in all samples. The results showed that people living in this city were heavily exposed to BHC, moderately exposed to malathion, and only slightly exposed to DDT. Another significant finding in this study was that the extent of the exposure to pesticides was related to the favorite food and residential location of subject. The residual levels in cord blood of those mothers who lived in the downtown area of Taipei city were higher than those who lived in Taipei suburban area. The differences in the pesticide residual levels may be attributed to dietary differences. Significant differences were found between fish favoring group and fruit favoring group, and between fish favoring group and vegetable favoring group. The findings of this study suggest that pesticides, especially BHC, should be used with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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