Milk is an essential component in human nutrition since long time,
significantly contributing to human survival and wellbeing.
The conditions of feeding, farming and health of milk producing animals
influence milk quality and may represent a source of contamination with
undesirable substances which can create problems to consumers health.
The residues of agricultural chemicals, mainly organochlorine insecticides,
contaminate milk from the environment either through grazing of animals on
contaminated pasture or by feeding them with contaminated feeds, and are
transferred and accumulated in man’s adipose tissue.
Organochlorine pesticides such as aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane and heptachlor
are known to cause breast cancer, while DDT and its metabolites cause hepatic,
haematological and lung malignancies.
Research studies have also demonstrated that DDT exhibits mutagenic properties
as well as oestrogenic effects in combination with p, p΄-DDE, α-HCH, δ-HCH,
which influence hormonal receptors and are characterized as hormonal
disregulators, therefore its commercial use has been discontinued in developed
Lindane (γ-HCH) may cause thyroid, hypophyseal, adrenal, hepatic, ovarian and
lung neoplasms as well as genital organ atrophy and leucaemia, while BHC is in
turn responsible for porphyria symptoms.
In research studies which were performed in Greece since 1974, after
prohibiting the use of organochlorine pesticides, there were found initially
high concentrations of the most important pesticides, while at present the
concentrations are either within the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or absent
from dairy products.
Antibiotics constitute an exogenous antimicrobial agent, which may contaminate
milk. They are applied in the treatment of various animal infections, mastitis
is the most important. After the administration of antibiotic to the animal a
part of it is secreted to the milk.
Their presence in milk creates huge problems in the production of fermented
dairy products, causes allergic reactions in sensitized individuals and
mutations in pathogenic microbial strains. Nevertheless through education and
training of breeders for a rational use of antibiotics as well as through
continuous veterinary control, through testing of raw milk by the dairy
industry and the control of final products by the state authorities, the
presence of antibiotics in dairy products is significantly decreased.
In our research study which has taken place in Attiki , in 20 samples of
pasteurized milk in a 2 month period with three samplings no antibiotics were
Pesticides, Organochlorine pesticides, Milk, Antibiotics, Environment