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Posted Mon Jan 25 2010: from Environmental Health News:
Younger mothers' breast milk has highest levels of flame retardants
A study of breast milk samples from more than 300 women in North Carolina finds flame retardants contaminate the milk from almost three-quarters of the woman in the study. Women older than 35 had the lowest levels of PBDEs in their milk. The highest levels were measured in breast milk from women aged 25 to 29, followed by women younger than 25 years old. The results suggest that younger mothers may have higher exposure to these flame retardant chemicals through their environment or lifestyles. PBDEs are chemicals used in electronics, furniture, carpeting and textiles to reduce the risk of fire. In rats, early life exposures to PBDE has been associated with altered thyroid hormone function, hyperactivity and poorer learning and memory. Human health effects are not so well understood. Most Americans have detectable levels of PBDEs in their blood. Dust and food may be the biggest sources for people. Breast fed babies are exposed through breast milk, however, experts agree that breastfeeding also provides important nutritional and immune benefits for the infant.
[Read more stories about: contamination, ecosystem interrelationships, flame retardants]
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