Uptake of pyrene in a breast-fed child of a mother treated with coal tar.
SourcePediatric Dermatology, 26, 2, (2009), pp. 184-7
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
SubjectN4i 4: Auto-immunity, transplantation and immunotherapy; NCEBP 1: Molecular epidemiology; NCMLS 5: Membrane transport and intracellular motility
A woman was treated for atopic dermatitis with coal tar containing ointments. Coal tar containing ointments contain genotoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Over a period of 50 days the accumulated dose of different coal tar containing ointments treatments corresponded to 993 mg of pyrene and 464 mg of benz[a]pyrene. During this treatment she gave breast milk to her 3-month-old daughter. Analysis of urine samples from the breast-fed child showed elevated levels of urinary excretion of a metabolite of pyrene (1-hydroxypyrene, 1-OHP). These levels were in the same range as urinary excretion levels of this metabolite observed in the mother's urine. As no pyrene was observed in breast milk at a limit of determination of 0.0035 micromol/L, transfer of pyrene from mother to child via breast milk is not likely. Also, a low level of 1-hydroxypyrene observed in the mother's milk did not account for the observed urinary excretion levels in the child. It must therefore be assumed that pyrene was transferred from mother to child via another route, presumably direct skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact. Dermatologists should inform their patients who receive treatment with coal tar containing ointments of the risk of transfer of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by skin-to-skin or skin-to-mouth contact.
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