Breastfeeding May Bring Children with More Risk for Toxic Chemicals


It has been long considered that breastfeeding would much better than formula milk in various aspects like the variety of nutrition and etc. However recent research found that breastfeeding may expose children to a series of industrial chemical substances that can pose harm to the infants’ health. The chemicals can be bio-accumulated.

The longer the mother milk is fed, the more risk the baby will be carried with the toxic chemicals which are perfluorinated alkylate Substance (PFASs), scientists found in the research. PFASs are commonly used as an additive in food packaging, clothing and other water proof required situations. They are not soluble in water or oil and can accumulate in bodies. It’s also found that the half life of PFASs is about three years, which is of much harm to the health of breastfed babies.

But how do the chemicals form in the bodies of babies?
They appear in babies mostly by transferring actually. PSASs are existed in everybody world widely. Mothers will transfer them by their milk. There was an experiment carried out during the period of 1997 to 2000 in Faroe Islands. Researchers checked the PFASs level in blood for the 81 children who were born there. The blood sample of the newborns at the time of their given birth, then when they were 11 month old, 18 month old and 5 years old were measured. Their mothers’ blood was also checked at the 32 weeks after being pregnant.

By analyzing the data got from the blood sample, it found the children that were breastfed for an exclusively longer time got an increase rate of the chemical in their bodies about 20-30% monthly. Whilst the children who were less fed with breast milk gained a little increase in PFASs chemicals.

What harmfulness of PFASs will bring to the young babies?
Young infants are very sensitive to many chemicals as they may be at risk of bringing impairment to their body development. Unfortunately, earlier studies found that PFASs was connected with impairment of reproductive abnormalities and immune response, even cancer may be caused. Thus it’s quite important to decrease the accumulation of such chemicals in the body of babies.

The best solution for this issue may be shortening the breastfeeding time according to the baby’s development to decrease the transferring of PFASs from mother milk, which is the source of the toxic chemicals.

Though there is potential risk for breastfeeding, but it only stands out when babies are exclusively fed with human milk, by the control of the feeding time, no further harm will appear. Besides, the advantages of breastfeeding still outweigh the disadvantages.