Lead, mercury, and cadmium levels in breast milk and infant hair in the late period of lactation in Ankara, Turkey

Orun E., YALÇIN S. S. , Aykut O.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09603123.2021.1929872


Lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd) have known harmful effects on children's well-being. The object of this study was to measure the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Hg, and Cd) in breast milk and infant hair, connected environmental factors, and the impact on infant growth and development at 8 months. Seventy-four breast milk samples and 46 infant hair samples were analyzed. Cd, Pb, and Hg were detected in 99%, 91%, and 87% of breast milk samples, respectively. Cd levels were higher in the hair of infants in extended families, living in older houses and when there was a maternal history of anemia and postpartum anemia. Hg levels in breast milk were higher in Denver II suspicious/abnormal infants than in Denver II normal infants. Further biomonitoring studies and preventive measures should be conducted to minimize exposure to toxic metals in early childhood period.