It’s well known that a mother’s milk is highly important for infants, but prolonged breastfeeding exposes babies to health risks, and it’s a medical research that all prospective mothers should know about. Certain pollutants are being transferred into children at a very tender age and may result in severe health issues.
The researchers followed a number of 81 infants in the Faroe Islands for the study, between 1997 and 2000, examining the levels of five types of perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) in their blood at birth and then at intervals of 11, 18 and then 60 months.
PFASs are mostly known for being used for non-sticking surfaces, oil, grease and water resistant textiles and packaging, ranging from clothes to paints. They bioaccumulate in food chains, found in both the blood of humans and animals worldwide.
They are potentially very harming when found in greater amounts and have been linked to causing cancer, immune system dysfunction, thyroid problems and high cholesterol levels. It has been known of their mild presence within breast milk, but studies have shown that the build-ups grow the more the child is breastfed, according to Philippe Grandjean from Harvard Chan School of Public Health.
In fact, the study has uncovered that the levels of PFASs gradually increase by 20% to 30% each month during the infant’s time of receiving the vitally important and nutritional milk from their mothers. Those do not appear to be as high if different methods are alternated within the child’s life.
The researchers, however, are not discouraging breastfeeding. It’s still a crucial factor for the health and well being of newborn babies, and are more aiming at showing the risks of PFASs uses among products shipped worldwide.
There are five types they have taken into consideration: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS and PFDA, all of which were slowly growing within children who were breastfed, except PFHxS.
The study emphasized the dangers of PFOA, in spite of the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already has a provisional restriction on PFOA and PFOS in the water we consume every day, though in some states, such as Ohio and West Virginia, it still present in worrying amounts.
The dangers are 100 times higher for infants, who do not have fully developed immune systems to protect them. It enhances the need for levels to be lowered in consuming water, as it affects mothers and their children’s health even more, as breastfeeding is highly needed in a newborn baby’s life and cannot be properly and effectively replaced.
Image source: livescience.com