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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heavy metal concentrations in the breast milk of Saudi women.

Lead, cadmium, and mercury concentrations were determined in breast milk of Saudi lactating mothers from Riyadh and Al-Ehssa regions in Saudi Arabia who were not occupationally exposed. The mean levels for cadmium, lead, and mercury were 1.732 microg/L, 31.671 microg/L, and 3.100 microg/L, respectively. In contrast to mercury, mothers living in the Al-Ehssa region had significantly higher cadmium and lead concentrations in their breast milk than those in the Riyadh region. The estimated weekly intakes of cadmium, lead, and mercury of breast-fed infants in this study were in some cases higher than the Provisional Tolerance Weekly Intake (PTWI) recommended by FAO/WHO, which pose a threat to their health. This necessitates the urgent need to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the sources of exposure to these heavy metals. Breast-feeding is of great beneficial value for the infant's development; therefore, efforts should be made to prevent its contamination with environmental pollutants.[1]


  1. Heavy metal concentrations in the breast milk of Saudi women. Al-Saleh, I., Shinwari, N., Mashhour, A. Biological trace element research. (2003) [Pubmed]
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