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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2010, Article ID 861757, 11 pages
Research Article

Serum Persistent Organic Pollutants and Duration of Lactation among Mexican-American Women

1Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
2Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA 94804-6403, USA
3National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA
4Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7358, USA

Received 6 January 2010; Accepted 19 April 2010

Academic Editor: David O. Carpenter

Copyright © 2010 Rosana H. Weldon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Research suggests that estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with lactation. Objectives. (1) to determine if estrogenic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are associated with shortened lactation duration; (2) to determine whether previous breastfeeding history biases associations. Methods and Results. We measured selected organochlorines and polychlorinated biphenyls ( -DDE, -DDT, -DDT, -hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene, and PCBs 44, 49, 52, 118, 138, 153, and 180) in serum from 366 low-income, Mexican-American pregnant women living in an agricultural region of California and assessed breastfeeding duration by questionnaires. We found no association between DDE, DDT, or estrogenic POPs with shortened lactation duration, but rather associations for two potentially estrogenic POPs with lengthened lactation duration arose (HR [95% CI]: 0.6 [0.4, 0.8] for -DDE & 0.8 [0.6, 1.0] for PCB 52). Associations between antiestrogenic POPs (PCBs 138 and 180) and shortened lactation duration were attributed to a lactation history bias. Conclusion. Estrogenic POPs were not associated with shortened lactation duration, but may be associated with longer lactation duration.