A recent research study has concluded with some alarming news for breastfeeding mothers. One hundred percent of breast milk samples in the new study tested positive for toxic “forever chemicals”.
Despite assurances from the chemical industry, the study, conducted by scientists from Toxic-Free Future, found that toxic newer PFAS chemicals, (per-and polyfluorinated substances), do build up in people. These chemicals have been found on the rise globally in breast milk.
“We now know that babies, along with nature’s perfect food, are getting toxic PFAS that can affect their immune systems and metabolism,” explains Toxic-Free Future science director and study co-author Erika Schreder. “We shouldn’t be finding any PFAS in breast milk and our findings make it clear that broader phaseouts are needed to protect babies and young children during the most vulnerable stages of life. Moms work hard to protect their babies, but big corporations are putting these, and other toxic chemicals that can contaminate breast milk, in products when safer options are available.”
Dr. Amina Salamova, the study co-author and associate research scientist at Indiana University continued saying that, “These findings make it clear that the switch to newer PFAS over the last decade didn’t solve the problem,” explains “This study provides more evidence that current-use PFAS are building up in people. What this means is that we need to address the entire class of PFAS chemicals, not just legacy-use variations.”
PFAS’s are used in food packaging, clothing, and other products. PFAS’s are called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally. These harmful chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, plummeting sperm counts, among other serious health conditions.
“Exposures to PFAS can weaken our immune system, making a person more vulnerable to infectious diseases,” explained Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, study co-author and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “It is especially concerning to see exposures happening through bioaccumulation in breast milk, which then exposes a nursing child during a critical period of development.”
Interested in finding out more about this study or Toxic-Free Future? If so, click here. Remember, according to Dr. Sathyanarayana, although these “forever chemicals” can be harmful, breast milk is the best for developing newborns.