Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Environmental contaminants in breast milk decrease over lactation time

Date:
January 21, 2011
Source:
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Summary:
The levels of environmental contaminants in a mother's body decrease during breast-feeding. After a year of lactation, the levels of a number of environmental contaminants in breast milk drop by 15-94 percent, according to a recent study.

The levels of environmental contaminants in a mother's body decrease during breast-feeding. After a year of lactation, the levels of a number of environmental contaminants in breast milk drop by 15 -- 94 per cent, according to a recent study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. There has been little study into this topic previously.

Related Articles


Breast milk is nutritionally the best food for infants and contains all the substances a child needs for optimal growth and development. However, breast milk contains low but measurable concentrations of environmental contaminants, health-harming chemicals from industry and manufacturing products that are widely spread in the environment.

Environmental contaminants enter the body through food and are partly excreted in breast milk. The contaminant levels in breast milk reflect those in the mother's body and are therefore ideal for monitoring exposure levels.

Norwegian women are among the mothers in the world who breast-feed their children longest; about 80 per cent of babies receive breast milk when they are six months old, and it is not unusual to breast-feed until the child is more than eighteen months old. This makes it especially important to study which contaminants infants are exposed to through breast milk in Norway.

The Department of Analytical Chemistry at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has recently investigated how the content of environmental contaminants in breast milk changes during the lactation period for each mother. Over 30 compounds of known contaminants such as brominated flame retardants, PCBs, and perfluorinated compounds were studied.

The study shows that the levels of almost all compounds in milk decrease with time, and are reduced by 15-94 per cent within a year of lactation. This must be considered when evaluating the benefits and possible risks of breast-feeding.

From previous studies we know that the levels of known environmental contaminants in breast milk and blood have fallen sharply in recent decades. The exceptions are brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated compounds, which first began to decline around the turn of the century.

The decline shows that measures taken by industry and by authorities to reduce the spread of these substances into the environment has meant that the population does not ingest as many environmental contaminants as before.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cathrine Thomsen, Line S. Haug, Hein Stigum, May Frøshaug, Sharon L. Broadwell, Georg Becher. Changes in Concentrations of Perfluorinated Compounds, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Norwegian Breast-Milk during Twelve Months of Lactation. Environmental Science & Technology, 2010; 44 (24): 9550 DOI: 10.1021/es1021922

Cite This Page:

Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "Environmental contaminants in breast milk decrease over lactation time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121111212.htm>.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. (2011, January 21). Environmental contaminants in breast milk decrease over lactation time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121111212.htm
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "Environmental contaminants in breast milk decrease over lactation time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121111212.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins