Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 13, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH

Recently we looked at toxic chemicals used in fast-food wrappers, and how they end up entering into our body. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors – they disrupt our hormonal systems, and can have especially harmful effects upon the delicate systems of the developing fetus and newborn.

Another source of endocrine disruptors can be found in the makeup products that women apply everyday, such as foundation and moisturizers. Many of these contain UV-blockers which, once absorbed, pass from the blood stream and concentrate in the breast milk. Human breast milk has been found to contain a large range of UV filters (sunscreens). Where did they come from? Cosmetics.

Cosmetic sunscreens were present in 85% of milk samples from 54 mother/child pairs, monitored over 3 years. There was a significant correlation between the use of products containing sunscreens, and their presence in breastmilk. Other chemicals were also present in the infants’ blood: some had PCBs and organochlor-pesticides that were above the US EPA daily limits.

Along with a healthy environment while in the womb, a mother’s breastmilk is the ultimate nourishment for her baby. You can help keep your breastmilk healthy by avoiding sources of chemicals, especially those that are endocrine disruptors, including cosmetics that have an SPF ingredient.

Unprotected exposure to the sun is necessary for us to form Vit D (actually a hormone), so like most things, moderation is key!

Read also: Nursing Mother Support

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

Related Posts