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Charming. This is just FYI.<br><br>
Does anyone have, incidentally, a link to studies of chemicals and toxins found in breastmilk in American mothers, generally?<br><br><a href="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2110402" target="_blank">http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory...olitan/2110402</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">A study of 47 women in Texas found their level of contamination was 10 to 100 times greater than that found in European women where the chemicals, known as PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, have been less used by industry and are now banned.<br><br>
Although the sample size of the Texas study is relatively small, the principal investigator, Arnold Schecter, said it is alarming that every woman showed signs of PBDE contamination, which causes brain damage in newborn rodents.<br><br>
...<br><br>
The researchers analyzed individual milk samples from nursing mothers ages 20 to 41 from a milk bank in Austin and a women's health clinic in Dallas. They found the levels of PBDEs ranged from 6 parts per billion to 419 ppb, with an average of 74 ppb.<br><br>
That level is about where some scientists believe the chemicals may show effects similar to those observed in newborn rodents, including hindered brain and reproductive system development.</td>
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I wonder why no one ever does a study to see what kind of toxins are in cows' milk and, therefore, formula?<br><br>
I do think that we need to change things so that it's easier for people to not have toxins in their bodies, but I'm sure that the cows are doing just as poorly as the rest of us.
 

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Watch for a report by the Environmental Working Group on this topic soon, and contact this researcher on perchlorate in breastmilk:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I am writing because you had previously expressed interest in participating<br>
in a study on flame retardants in human breast milk conducted by the<br>
Environmental Working Group. We have now completed that study and are about<br>
to release it (look for it in the news on Tuesday and Wednesday).<br><br>
In the meantime, however, we have been talking with a wonderful graduate<br>
student in Texas who has been doing important work on the presence of a<br>
chemical called perchlorate in cows milk. Perchlorate is a component of<br>
rocket fuel that has been found to be contaminating drinking water in<br>
several areas across the country. For her dissertation she would like to do<br>
a survey of human breast milk and see if it may also be turning up there.<br><br>
This is a very important and timely issue as both the federal government and<br>
several states are working on drinking regulations for perchlorate but the<br>
process has been stalled by politics. If you are interested in helping<br>
Andrea out with her study and helping protect the nation's drinking water<br>
from contaminants, please contact her at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>.<br><br>
I hope this message finds each of you (and your babies) healthy and happy.<br><br>
In peace,<br><br>
Renee</td>
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Okay, they're finding these levels of chemicals in women's milk, are they also seeing an effect on the actual babies getting this milk?<br><br>
Seems to me in Mothering a few years back I read about a study done in Vietnam, where so much Agent Orange was dropped, that found that even with the environmental pollution, the breastfed babies were healthier than the formula fed.<br><br>
And if Texas moms are being compromised by perchlorate, what about Texas cows-both milk and meat? Are soybeans grown down there? what about the levels in any of the food crops?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Marlena</i><br><b>Does anyone have, incidentally, a link to studies of chemicals and toxins found in breastmilk in American mothers, generally?<br><br></b></td>
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No, not a general link but I did read about flame retardant chemicals in breast milk a few weeks ago:<br><br><a href="http://north.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=sep17pbdeban17092003" target="_blank">http://north.cbc.ca/regional/servlet...bdeban17092003</a><br><br>
This is not technicaly about levels in American breast milk but I assume the problem exsists in Alaska as well.<br><br>
MM
 

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I have seen on TV, on whatever science type show it was, that the levels of some chemicals in mothers' milk in parts of northern Canada, due to the way the winds blow, mosty among Inuit women, are high enough that the government discourages breastfeeding.<br><br>
How about they, we, work on the damned pollution problem!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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1. Why just in Texas? Don't other states have electronics and furniture? I know this study looked only at Texas women, but I would think this would not be isolated only in Texas.<br><br>
2. What is considered a toxic level? They tell us what levels were found but not what is toxic.<br><br>
3. While it's something to keep your eye on, it certainly is not cause for alarm, IMO, and is a bit hysterical.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Meiri</i><br><b>I have seen on TV, on whatever science type show it was, that the levels of some chemicals in mothers' milk in parts of northern Canada, due to the way the winds blow, mosty among Inuit women, are high enough that the government discourages breastfeeding.<br><br>
How about they, we, work on the damned pollution problem!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"></b></td>
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This sent me searching through the CBC archives to see what I could find on the plight of the Inuit breast feeder and I found some very interesting stuff:<br><br>
Not specificaly about the Inuit but a warning about eating fatty meats : <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/CBC/2003/07/03/Consumers/fattyfood_030703" target="_blank">http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/CBC/2003...ttyfood_030703</a><br><br>
Then there was the article about the dangers of the traditional blubber high diet of the far north for the nursing/pregnant mother : <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/06/25/blubber030623" target="_blank">http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/06/25/blubber030623</a><br><br>
I am looking for a reference that specificaly discourages bfing in the artic but it will have to wait until the now waking baby is down for another nap, lol.<br><br>
MM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Meiri</i><br><b><br>
How about they, we, work on the damned pollution problem!!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"></b></td>
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Bingo.<br><br>
Re Delta's question, I believe the article found that the average level found in the breastmilk in the small number of women they studied was thought to be equivalent to the level at which neurological development was found in young rodents exposed to the chemicals, to wit:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The researchers analyzed individual milk samples from nursing mothers ages 20 to 41 from a milk bank in Austin and a women's health clinic in Dallas. They found the levels of PBDEs ranged from 6 parts per billion to 419 ppb, with an average of 74 ppb.<br><br>
That level is about where some scientists believe the chemicals may show effects similar to those observed in newborn rodents, including hindered brain and reproductive system development.</td>
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I don't think the article was "hysterical." It presented a problem found in a small study, and characterized it as such.<br><br>
The point is well-taken that we don't usually see similar studies done on cow's milk (which I would imagine contains significant levels of certain chemicals, though likely different ones than one might find to be concentrated in human milk).<br><br>
The bottom line is that we not only need further research concerning the issue of toxins in breastmilk, but also need to take significant action to halt the undue exposure of humans (and all animals, for that matter) to the offending chemicals.
 

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MM<br><br>
It was passing reference in a story about the town that has the polar bear jail, I think. For all I know it was a gratuitous piece of BS, or slipped in to add to the alarm factor?<br><br>
If it was true, I'm thinking the Canadian government has gotten smarter about breastfeeding policy since then.<br><br>
If the benefits of eating the traditional foods outweigh the toxin risks, how much more so would that be true for breastfeeding?
 

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Here are some links about this issue. It is an issue I follow pretty closely, so this was not at all news to me whenn this study ame out today, but I am glad that it is getting press, becuase we need to get the govt off their duff to solve this serious problem:<br><br>
Here is an article from CNN about the test results:<br><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/09/23/environment.milk.ap/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/09/23....ap/index.html</a><br><br>
here is the report from Environmental Working Group:<br><a href="http://www.ewg.org/reports/mothersmilk/" target="_blank">http://www.ewg.org/reports/mothersmilk/</a>
 

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Meiri;<br><br>
The town you are thinking of has to be Churchill Manitoba. It is known as the polar bear capital of the world and every year the bears can be seen comming into town off of the ice.<br><br>
As for the government recomending northern mothers not breastfeed I could not find a reference but I can easily believe it. Our government is infamous for trying to force the Inuit to "modernize" and become easier to "handle". The have been moving away from that idea since the creation of Nunavut but it is very easy to believe a decade ago.<br><br>
Currently the closest they get is suggesting that the women not eat the blubber when they are pregnant or nursing. Oh and it should be pointed out that I wonder whether there would be a benifit to the traditional diet without the traditional levels of activity. See, the Inuit diet is, I believe, very high in fats as befits a nomadic people in the far North. Problem is that in the last two generations they have become (through no choice of their own) sedentary and accustomed to central heating. While their diet os whole food orientated it sounds rather toxic with a modern lifestyle, as I suppose can be seen in the very high levels of type 2 diabetes and rampant heart disease.<br><br>
Opps, this got way off topic didn"t it?<br><br>
Um.....On topic then.<br><br>
I was searching for a world wide perspective in the pollution issue and I found <a href="http://earthwatch.unep.ch/toxicchem/pops.php" target="_blank">this</a><br><br>
It is from the UN earth watch web site and talks about "persistent organic pollutants" including the fact that they have been found in human breast milk.<br><br>
Hope someone gets something out of this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
MM
 

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Subject: LLLINEWS: BREASTFEEDING REMAINS BEST CHOICE IN A POLLUTED<br>
> WORLD<br>
><br>
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br>
><br>
> CONTACT: Carol Huotari, ext. #245, Mary Lofton, ext. #271, or Mary Hurt,<br>
> ext. #286, <a href="mailto:p[email protected]">[email protected]</a>; <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>; <a href="mailto:p[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br>
><br>
> BREASTFEEDING REMAINS BEST CHOICE IN A POLLUTED WORLD<br>
><br>
> SCHAUMBURG, IL (August 2003)-Breastfeeding remains the best option for<br>
> feeding infants, even as attention is focused on the many chemicals that<br>
> may find their way into a mother's body, according to La Leche League<br>
> International, the world's foremost authority on mother-to-mother<br>
> breastfeeding support.<br>
><br>
> The four specimens often used to test levels of chemicals in the human<br>
> body<br>
> are urine, blood, hair and human milk. This monitoring is done to<br>
> determine<br>
> levels of environmental chemicals in different geographical areas. Any<br>
> substances found in human milk because of this routine testing are a<br>
> reflection of the exposure in all humans living in that particular area<br>
> and<br>
> not a statement about breastfeeding.<br>
><br>
> Scientific research shows consistently that even in a world exposed to so<br>
> many chemicals, breastfeeding offers advantages which outweigh the risk of<br>
><br>
> ingesting possible contaminants. Indeed, the benefits of breastfeeding<br>
> which include high levels of antioxidants may prove to be essential to<br>
> compensate for and outweigh the risks of toxic effects from the<br>
> environment. Today the focus of scientific concerns is being directed<br>
> toward removing potentially toxic chemicals from the environment while<br>
> recognizing the value of human milk, the only source of optimal nutrition<br>
> for infants.<br>
><br>
> A discussion of this topic is incomplete without pointing out the<br>
> well-documented nutritional inadequacies and detrimental health<br>
> consequences of artificial baby milk, which may be contaminated both as<br>
> products of the same environment and through manufacturing. In addition,<br>
> human milk, unlike manufactured formula, does not add to the ecological<br>
> burden of the planet.<br>
><br>
> Human milk cannot be duplicated. It is a living, changing fluid which<br>
> continually adapts to the needs of the developing infant. Professional<br>
> research demonstrates that breastfed infants have significantly lower<br>
> morbidity rates. In addition, studies show that breastfeeding offers<br>
> significant immunologic, developmental and nutritional benefits.<br>
><br>
> La Leche League International's Center for Breastfeeding Information<br>
> maintains the world's largest collection of studies on breastfeeding and<br>
> human milk. La Leche League International fulfills it mission of offering<br>
> information and support to women who wish to breastfeed by holding monthly<br>
><br>
> meetings, offering telephone counseling and on-line support, through<br>
> educational meetings and by publishing books and pamphlets on<br>
> breastfeeding. For further information on this or any breastfeeding topic,<br>
><br>
> visit our informative Web site at <a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org" target="_blank">www.lalecheleague.org</a> or call<br>
> 1-847-519-7730.<br>
><br>
> Information on Contaminants and Minimizing Exposure<br>
><br>
> Routine monitoring of chemicals in human urine, blood, hair and milk show<br>
> that environmental contaminants are present, not just in these testing<br>
> specimens, but in the fat cells of everyone living in the area tested.<br>
> Their presence is a reflection of the substances that exist in a<br>
> particular<br>
> community. This is a reason to eliminate toxins from the environment-- not<br>
><br>
> a reason to eliminate breastfeeding.<br>
><br>
> Virtually every infant born today already has a body burden of industrial<br>
> chemicals. Indeed, evidence demonstrates that babies are more vulnerable<br>
> to<br>
> transmission of substances during the prenatal stage than after birth.<br>
><br>
> While human milk has higher levels of some persistent organic pollutants<br>
> than artificial baby milk, infant formula is not pollutant free and has<br>
> been, among other things, associated with higher levels of heavy metals,<br>
> phytoestrogens and bacteria. Many well-documented studies demonstrate the<br>
> health risks of formula feeding, including life-threatening errors in the<br>
> manufacturing process. Human milk will never be recalled because of<br>
> manufacturer error.<br>
><br>
> There is evidence that human milk with its species-specific optimal<br>
> nutrition and its anti-inflammatory agents, including antioxidants, helps<br>
> a<br>
> child develop a stronger immune system and other potential protections<br>
> against environmental pollutants and pathogens. In regard to<br>
> organochlorine<br>
> compounds, a recent study in Pediatrics states: "Long-term breastfeeding<br>
> was found to be beneficial to neurodevelopment, potentially<br>
> counterbalancing the impact of exposure to these chemicals through breast<br>
> milk."<br>
><br>
> The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and<br>
> other major health associations, overwhelmingly support the importance of<br>
> breastfeeding even in a contaminated world. Documented benefits of<br>
> breastfeeding include reduced incidences of the following: insulin<br>
> dependent diabetes, some childhood cancers, ear infections, upper<br>
> respiratory infections, obesity and other health problems. In addition,<br>
> studies suggest that breastfeeding may have a positive influence upon the<br>
> development of verbal and general intelligence.<br>
><br>
> It is impossible to reduce exposure to all chemical elements. However, for<br>
><br>
> those who would like to reduce contact with chemicals especially before<br>
> pregnancy, and during pregnancy and lactation, the following suggestions<br>
> may be helpful.<br>
><br>
> 10 Simple Steps to Help Reduce the Level of Chemicals in Your Body<br>
><br>
> 1. Avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol since levels of<br>
> contaminants have been found to be higher in those who smoke and drink<br>
> alcoholic beverages.<br>
><br>
> 2. Be aware in purchasing homes and buildings that have been treated with<br>
> pesticides for termites and/ or older homes that might have lead-based<br>
> paints.<br>
><br>
> 3. In general, eat a variety of foods low in animal fats, remove skin and<br>
> excess fat from meats and poultry. Avoiding high-fat dairy products may<br>
> reduce the potential burden of fat-soluble contaminants.<br>
><br>
> 4. Increase consumption of grains, fruits and vegetables. Thoroughly wash<br>
> and peel fruits and vegetables to help eliminate the hazard of pesticide<br>
> residues on the skin. When available, eat food grown without fertilizer or<br>
><br>
> pesticide application.<br>
><br>
> 5. Avoid fish such as swordfish and shark or freshwater fish from waters<br>
> reported as contaminated by local health agencies.<br>
><br>
> 6. Limit exposure to chemicals such as solvents found in paints, non-water<br>
><br>
> based glues, furniture strippers, nail polish, and gasoline fumes<br>
><br>
> 7. Remove the plastic cover of dry cleaned clothing, and air out the<br>
> garments in a room with open windows for 12-24 hours.<br>
><br>
> 8. Try to avoid contact with incinerator discharge, preserved wood, or<br>
> produce grown near incinerators<br>
><br>
> 9. For those in the workforce, attempt to avoid occupational exposure to<br>
> chemical contaminants and seek improved workplace chemical safety<br>
> standards<br>
> for all employees, especially pregnant and lactating women<br>
><br>
> 10. Encourage other family members to be sensitive to contaminant residue<br>
> they may inadvertently bring into the home<br>
>
 

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I like the way this article was written on the subject <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=1776&e=2&u=/nm/environment_milk_dc" target="_blank">http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...onment_milk_dc</a><br><br>
Today was the first that I heard of this study. Thank you all for posting the articles that you read. I read them all.
 

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This story was on CBS news tonight. I was afraid that it would scare mothers onto not breastfeeding, but I was happy to see that the doctor they had commenting was VERY adament that mothers should STILL continue to breastfeed. He said the biggest risk was actually that these toxins would be passed from the placenta to the baby in utero.
 

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No, it's not just Texas. I posted this on 8/24/03. It's been in the news.<br><a href="http://216.92.20.151/discussions/showthread.php?s=&postid=807796#post807796" target="_blank">Researchers Link Flame Retardants to Hazards - Affecting Sexual/Brain Development:</a><br><br>
Europe is going to start banning flame retardants next summer. California Governor Gray Davis is to sign a bill that will start phasing it out in 2008. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> Why in the hell is the U.S. not taking this more seriously???? Because the industry is in the pockets of the government. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"><br><br>
I think we (mothers) should be writing to our representatives to get on the ball and start doing something now. Not just California, but all over the U.S.<br><br>
The furniture/chemical industry has paid advocates that ensure these chemicals stay in place and protecting their interests. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"> We need to start speaking up.<br><br>
OurStolenFuture.org (based on the book) has a lot of the news articles archived. Here is another.<br><a href="http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Commentary/News/2003/2003-0420-LAT-pbdes.htm" target="_blank">Cause for Alarm over Chemicals - 20 April 2003 - LA Times</a><br><br>
A few days ago the Los Angeles Times (they have been good about printing these articles) printed<br><b>Even the Dust Is Toxic in Homes, Scientists Say</b>. Unfortunately, you have to buy the article at this point. But perhaps it will be up in the Our Stolen Future website soon.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>THE NATION; Even the Dust Is Toxic in Homes, Scientists Say; Many hormone-altering compounds contained in household products are found in indoor air. The findings suggest that exposure is common.</b>[HOME EDITION]<br><br>
Marla Cone. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.:<br><br>
Sep 16, 2003. pg. A.10<br><br>
Abstract (Article Summary)<br>
In the first comprehensive look at contaminants inside households, scientists have found dozens of toxic chemicals in indoor air and dust, suggesting that exposure to hormone-altering compounds is common in American homes.<br><br>
The study of 120 homes in Cape Cod, Mass., discovered 67 compounds in dust and air, dominated by chemicals found in plastics, detergents and cosmetics such as nail polish, perfumes and hairsprays. Insecticides ...</td>
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I don't use nail polish... no pedicures for me or my son. I don't need any more toxin exposure. I do what I can. I avoid stressing over it. It's just important to be aware.<br><br>
I do believe Breastmilk is still the healthiest choice and have no regrets over nursing my recently weaned son for 3.5 yrs.<br><br>
Though highlighting this only in breastmilk is a problem... because it makes it look like BFing is a problem... it ain't.
 
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