What is breast milk contamination?

Women around the world have toxic chemicals in their body fat and, when nursing, have toxic chemicals in their breast milk. The level of toxic contaminants in many American women's breast milk is often reported to exceed the FDA's "acceptable daily intake" levels for other foods. Some women and babies are at a greater risk because of diet or environmental exposures; babies in the high Arctic are exposed to seven times more polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) than the typical infant in Canada or the United States.

Still, breast-feeding is overwhelmingly preferable to infant formula feeding, unless a breastfeeding mother has high-level occupational exposure, extreme dietary exposure, or unusual residential exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals. Breast milk offers tremendous protective qualities and benefits that outweigh the risks of low levels of chemicals in most cases. Providing uncontaminated air, water, and food is the best choice to protect mothers and infants from unwanted chemical exposures and risks.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.