Human breast milk can contain a large range of chemical contaminants known as endocrine disrupters – including UV filters commonly found in cosmetics. Cosmetic UV filters were present in 85.2% of milk samples from 54 mother/child pairs, monitored over 3-years. Comparison with a questionnaire revealed a significant correlation between use of products containing UV filters, and their presence in milk.
Synthetic musk fragrances were also present in the milk samples. It seems plausible that exposure to other cosmetic constituents such as synthetic fragrances is also linked to the use of the corresponding products. (This could not be investigated, however, because musk fragrances do not need to be declared on labels.)
A total daily intake of each individual chemical was calculated for each individual infant from their individual levels in human milk. Calculation included fat content of individual milk samples, total daily milk intake per infant and body weight of the infant. Some infants exhibited values of daily intake of PCBs and several organochloro pesticides that were above US EPA reference dose values.
Endocrine disrupters can wreak havoc on the delicate hormone systems of infants, as well as on our own hormonal balance. Further affected by endocrine disrupters are the delicate ecosystems in which we live. They bear the full brunt of all of the chemicals we excrete into the environment, not only from industry, but from our own bodies.
A mother’s breastmilk is the ultimate nurturing food for her baby. It’s also a microcosm that reflects the health of her body and the environment – and ultimately of Nature, which nurtures us all.
We’ll take a look at some natural UV-blockers in a followup post. In the meantime, you may want to reconsider applying those moisturizers and foundations that contain UV protection, especially if you’re a breastfeeding mama!
Healthy breastmilk for healthy babies…