We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Short and medium chain length chlorinated paraf...
View graph of relations

« Back

Short and medium chain length chlorinated paraffins in UK human milk fat

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date01/2006
JournalEnvironment International
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Chlorinated paraffins (also called polychlorinated n-alkanes — PCAs) are a class of industrial chemicals comprising chlorinated straight chain hydrocarbons. They have a wide range of applications and are now found in a range of environmental compartments. We analysed a total of 25 human milk-fat samples, donated by 18 individuals from the urban London and more rural Lancaster areas in the UK, for short chain PCAs (C10–C13 sPCAs) and medium chain PCAs (C14–C17 mPCAs), using gas chromatography–ECNI high-resolution mass spectrometry. Our study confirms that trace quantities of PCAs can reach human milk-fat. sPCAs were detected in all but four samples, while mPCAs were detected in all samples. The median sPCA concentration was 180 ng/g fat (range of 49 to 820 ng/g fat — detected values only) and the median mPCA concentration was 21 ng/g fat (range of 6.2 to 320 ng/g fat). No differences were noted in ranges of observed values for either sPCAs or mPCAs between samples from London and Lancaster. Most samples also exhibited similar patterns of sPCAs and mPCAs. One sample exhibited a different pattern for sPCAs and mPCAs, an observation that may be related to differences in exposure or biological factors for this individual.