Agent Orange Exposure and 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) in Human Milk.Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Jun; 104(3):129-39.BD
Agent Orange was sprayed in parts of southern Vietnam during the U.S.-Vietnam war and was a mixture of two chlorophenoxy herbicides. The mixture was contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). TCDD and other dioxins and furans are measurable in the milk of Vietnamese women. We explored whether the TCDD in milk from these women was from Agent Orange and whether lactational exposure can be a mode of transgenerational effects of TCDD from Agent Orange. A review of the world's literature on milk concentrations of polychlorinated compounds showed the presence of TCDD and other dioxins and furans in all countries that have been assessed. The congener profile of these chemicals, that is, the proportion of different congeners in the sample, can be used to assess the source of milk contamination. Measurements in most countries, including contemporary measurements in Vietnam, are consistent with non-Agent Orange exposure sources, including industrial activities and incineration of waste. Models and supporting human data suggest that TCDD from breastfeeding does not persist in a child past adolescence and that the adult body burden of TCDD is independent of whether the individual was breast- or bottle-fed as a child. These findings suggest that exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam did not result in persistent transgenerational exposure through human milk.