Am J Perinatol 2014; 31(11): 993-1002
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1370343
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Maternal–Child Transfer of Essential and Toxic Elements through Breast Milk in a Mine-Waste Polluted Area

Francisca Castro
1  Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolic Regulation, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
,
Florencia Harari
2  Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
,
Miguel Llanos
1  Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolic Regulation, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
,
Marie Vahter
2  Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
,
Ana Maria Ronco
1  Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolic Regulation, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

10 October 2013

02 January 2014

Publication Date:
28 March 2014 (eFirst)

Abstract

Objective To determine the daily intake of essential micronutrients and toxic elements through breast milk in exclusive and nonexclusive breastfed infants living in an area with major mine tailing deposition (n = 24), compared with a control area (n = 11).

Study Design The milk volume ingested by 2 to 4 and 4 to 6 month infants was measured by a stable isotopic method. Elements in milk, maternal and infant urine, and drinking water were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Results Similar breast milk volume and essential micronutrients intake in groups of exclusively breastfed infants, but more cadmium, boron, and lithium through breastfeeding in experimental area was found. This exposure was even higher in the nonexclusively breastfed infants, who also ingested more arsenic, boron, and lithium than exclusive breastfed infants.

Conclusion The use of the deuterium and the ICP-MS methods made it possible to evaluate the exact amount of essential and toxic elements ingested by infants through breast milk demonstrating that lower amount of toxic elements are transferred to exclusive breastfed infants compared with those who additionally received nonmaternal milk.