Everyday Products Pose Risk to Breastfed Infants

June 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Last week bottled water came under fire for transferring chemical toxins from plastics into the water. Now, a similar charge is being raised about environmental toxins being passed on to newborns through breast milk. Several studies have already found perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in the blood of infants and children.

Researchers tested for the presence of several types of PFCs. The highest concentrations came from stain-resistant fabrics followed by non-stick cookware. These PFC-containing products can be avoided to minimize passing environmental contaminants to newborns. Breast milk showed increased concentrations of these chemicals during the first six months of nursing, which experts believe reflect increased intake of certain foods by the new mothers.

While it is not yet known whether the amount consumed by infants poses any long-term effects, the potential risks should not preclude women from continuing to breastfeed because there are significant positive benefits such as enhanced immunity and defense against infections as well as higher IQ.

AAP BookNew findings lend further support to the higher scores on IQ tests and cognitive measures, such as thinking, learning and memory. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months but ideally 1 year is recommended. Infants benefit from breastfeeding in other ways, including fewer hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhea, rashes, allergies and other medical problems than bottle-fed babies, according to the Food and Drug Administration.


Entry filed under: Food Ingredients, Nutrition News. Tags: , , , , , , .

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