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Phthalates in cow milk: possible contamination pathways at farm level

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Abstract
Phthalates are organic lipophilic compounds which are mainly used as plasticizer in plastic polymers. Human exposure occurs mainly via food intake and can cause a wide range of negative health effects. Phthalates are not only present in food because of environmental contamination, but also as a result of migration from contact materials. This study investigated phthalates in cow milk in order to determine the contamination pathways at farm level. The levels of eight phthalates were determined in raw milk samples collected during summer and winter at five farms located in ‘The Kempen’ (Belgium). Both manually obtained milk samples as milk samples milked by machine were collected. Analysis was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The analysis of the milk samples milked by machine revealed a difference in average total phthalate level between the summer and the winter sampling period (572 versus 379 µg/kg fat). While the total phthalate levels of the different farms during winter were nearly of similar magnitude (291-587 µg/kg fat), a wide range could be observed during summer (95-1550 µg/kg fat). Comparing milk samples within a farm, lower total phthalate levels were found in the milk samples milked by hand than those by machine (100 versus 179 µg/kg fat). Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate which is the most commonly used plasticizer worldwide, was the most dominating one (79 % of the total concentration in milk from the central collecting tank). The results indicate that the contamination pathways for phthalates in cow milk vary across seasons. An explanation therefore is that the feed composition is different during summer than during winter. In summer, cows are grazing in the fields where an extra phthalate contamination can occur via soil ingestion. Comparing the milk samples milked by hand with those by machine reveals that the milking equipment is another important contamination pathway.

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Chicago
Fierens, Tine, Mirja Van Holderbeke, Hanny Willems, Isabelle Sioen, and Stefaan De Henauw. 2011. “Phthalates in Cow Milk: Possible Contamination Pathways at Farm Level.” In Environmental Health Perspectives.
APA
Fierens, T., Van Holderbeke, M., Willems, H., Sioen, I., & De Henauw, S. (2011). Phthalates in cow milk: possible contamination pathways at farm level. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES. Presented at the 23rd Annual conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE).
Vancouver
1.
Fierens T, Van Holderbeke M, Willems H, Sioen I, De Henauw S. Phthalates in cow milk: possible contamination pathways at farm level. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES. 2011.
MLA
Fierens, Tine, Mirja Van Holderbeke, Hanny Willems, et al. “Phthalates in Cow Milk: Possible Contamination Pathways at Farm Level.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 2011. Print.
@inproceedings{1929660,
  abstract     = {Phthalates are organic lipophilic compounds which are mainly used as plasticizer in plastic polymers. Human exposure occurs mainly via food intake and can cause a wide range of negative health effects. Phthalates are not only present in food because of environmental contamination, but also as a result of migration from contact materials. This study investigated phthalates in cow milk in order to determine the contamination pathways at farm level.
The levels of eight phthalates were determined in raw milk samples collected during summer and winter at five farms located in {\textquoteleft}The Kempen{\textquoteright} (Belgium). Both manually obtained milk samples as milk samples milked by machine were collected. Analysis was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
The analysis of the milk samples milked by machine revealed a difference in average total phthalate level between the summer and the winter sampling period (572 versus 379 {\textmu}g/kg fat). While the total phthalate levels of the different farms during winter were nearly of similar magnitude (291-587 {\textmu}g/kg fat), a wide range could be observed during summer (95-1550 {\textmu}g/kg fat). Comparing milk samples within a farm, lower total phthalate levels were found in the milk samples milked by hand than those by machine (100 versus 179 {\textmu}g/kg fat). Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate which is the most commonly used plasticizer worldwide, was the most dominating one (79 \% of the total concentration in milk from the central collecting tank).
The results indicate that the contamination pathways for phthalates in cow milk vary across seasons. An explanation therefore is that the feed composition is different during summer than during winter. In summer, cows are grazing in the fields where an extra phthalate contamination can occur via soil ingestion. Comparing the milk samples milked by hand with those by machine reveals that the milking equipment is another important contamination pathway.},
  author       = {Fierens, Tine and Van Holderbeke, Mirja and Willems, Hanny and Sioen, Isabelle and De Henauw, Stefaan},
  booktitle    = {ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES},
  issn         = {0091-6765},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Barcelona, Spain},
  title        = {Phthalates in cow milk: possible contamination pathways at farm level},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.isee2011},
  year         = {2011},
}

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