[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high density of electroplating factories in the geographic middle of Taiwan has prompted concern over the potential for exposure to harmful metals. The present study aimed to determine the levels of chromium in whole blood (B-Cr) of residents living in the high vs. low factory-density areas, and to examine the relations to gender and age. A total of 660 residents who had not moved within the 5 years preceding the study were sampled according to the stratified random sampling approach, at ages 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64 years, for both genders. Chromium determinations (n=641) were made using a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. The geometric mean (95% C.I.) of B-Cr was 0.357 (0.34-0.38) microg/l. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) nonparametric 0.95 reference limits of B-Cr was estimated to be <0.905 microg/l. B-Cr levels decreased with increasing age. Subjects in the areas with a high density (0.38 microg/l, 95% C.I.: 0.36-0.40) of electroplating factories had significantly higher B-Cr levels, compared to residents of the low-density (0.27, 0.25-0.30) areas and to the general population from western countries. The health significance of the elevated B-Cr remains to be determined.
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 04/2006; 16(2):138-46. DOI:10.1038/sj.jea.7500445 · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postnatal exposure to dioxins in breastfed infants occurs mainly during breast-feeding. The exposure to a substantial amount of endocrine disruptors in the early days of life may cause long-term health effects. Test subjects were healthy and primiparous mothers with a mean age of 28 (S.D. = 3.8) in 2001. The PCDD/F congeners were analyzed in the breast milk using gas chromatograph/high resolution mass spectrometry. The mean level of PCDD/Fs was 7.4 pg-WHO-TEQ/g lipid, which is significantly lower than the level found in individuals from other countries. The total PCDD WHO-TEQ levels in breast milk had a significant positive association with maternal age and a slightly negative association with perinatal BMI (body mass index of the period before and after the delivery). The estimated daily intake of 10.5 pg-WHO-TEQ/kg/day from individual breast milk was predicted for a breastfed infant at 6 months of age with proper assumption of 8 kg body weight, 854 milk per day of consumption, 95% of dioxin absorption rate, and linear decline of dioxin during lactation. Based on the lower WHO-TEQ levels in the breast milk, breast-feeding should still be encouraged and continued in Taiwan.