Background and aims In human milk banks, the only available information regarding toxicological safety, is provided by donors in the screening questionnaire. A good agreement between donors’ self-report and milk analysis for nicotine and illegal drug use (excluding caffeine) was reported. Determination of these substances in urine and hair samples may provide additional information.
Our main objetive was to determine drug abuse substances, nicotine and caffeine, in donors’ breastmilk, urine and hair and compare the results to donors’ answers in the screening questionnaire.
Methods 36 samples of breastmilk, urine and hair from 36 milk donors were collected. All donors completed a lifestyle questionnaire. A validated, reversed-phase liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry test was used to determine the concentration of illegal drugs, nicotine and caffeine.
Results No donors reported being a drug user or an active smoker. 33% of donors admitted consuming caffeine.
No illegal drugs were found. Caffeine was found in 50% of breastmilk (272,8 ± 560,5 ng/ml), in 78% of urine (455,27 ± 510,5 ng/ml) and 78% of hair samples (1,76 ± 1,58 ng/mg). Caffeine was found in 25% of donors who denied consuming caffeine (361 ± 528 ng/ml).
Nicotine was found in 33% of hair samples and cotinine in 50% of urine and 33% of hair samples. Both substance levels were under the threshold of significant ambiental exposition.
Conclusions We found a good agreement between self-report and breastmilk, urine and hair analysis for illegal drug and tobacco use. We found a moderate agreement for caffeine, although breastmilk concentrations were not of concern for newborns.