The exposure levels of placenta and paired breast milk samples to selected organochlorine compounds and pesticides from Danish and Finnish samples have been investigated. p,p'-DDE is the dominant pollutant, beta-HCH, hexachlorobenzene, endosulfan-I, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis-heptachlor epoxide and p,p'-DDT being the other major constituents. Their concentrations are linearly correlated between milk and placenta in similar patterns for Danish and Finnish samples. Milk samples have higher levels of these pollutants than placenta on lipid base. However, the apparently not correlated compounds, such as alpha-HCH, pentachlorobenzene, pentachloroanisole and methoxychlor, are generally accumulated more in placenta, which may suggest a tissue specific metabolic activity. Thus, depending on the compound of interest, biomonitoring may be done in placenta only or in both matrices.