April 1976

DDT Levels in Milk of Rural Indigent Blacks

Author Affiliations

From Maternal and Child Health/Family Planning, Training and Research Center, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn (Mr Woodard), and the Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Arts and Science, Nashville (Drs Wilson and Ferguson).

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(4):400-403. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120050058010

• Human milk samples from low-income blacks residing in rural Mississippi and Arkansas and middle-class whites residing in metropolitan Nashville, Tenn, were analyzed for concentrations of DDT and its metabolites. The mean total DDT concentration (DDE [derivative of DDT]+DDT) of 38 samples from the blacks was 447 parts per billion (ppb); the range was 59 to 1,900 ppb. The mean of the 14 samples from Nashville residents was 75 ppb (range, 15 to 133 ppb).

The difference in the DDT concentrations in the two populations indicates that rural low-income blacks are still highly contaminated with pesticides, even though the general use of DDT has been banned. Due to the limited amount of information from the donors, no correlation could be made between the DDT concentration and diet, age of child, home pesticide use, or distance of residence from farming fields.

(Am J Dis Child 130:400-403, 1976)