MotherTalkers

Where real moms tell it like it is.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Baby Slurps Rocket Fuel and Lives!

The milk that passed between my breasts and my son's mouth, the milk that kept him alive and sated and soothed that first year, contained flame retardants, pesticides, and rocket fuel. Breastfeeding, for me, was an intimate bonding experience. I consider the presence of these chemicals in my breasts, my milk, and my child a profound act of TRESPASSING.

A colleague just turned me on to MOMS (Making Our Milk Safe) – a group that has formed to address the threat of toxic chemicals in human breast milk. They hope to have local "MOMSquads" sprout up and join together to support progressive legislation like California's AB 319 and to "shape corporate behavior through strategic market-based campaigns," whatever that means.

Did you know?
More than 85,000 synthetic chemicals are used today in the United States, with an additional 1,000 new chemicals added each year. Less than 10 percent of these chemicals have been tested for their effects on human health, much less babies.


Legislation works. Levels of flame retardants in the breast milk of first-time mothers in the U.S. were 75 times higher than their counterparts in Europe. In Sweden, regulations of flame retardants resulted in a dramatic drop in their level in breast milk over a short period.

I'm gonna go check out a MOMS meet-up in a SF cafe later this month. It features a discussion with author, biologist, cancer survivor, and nursing mother Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., an expert on the environmental links between cancer and reproductive health. She wrote the book "Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment" which reveals the extent to which present environmental hazards threaten each crucial stage of infant development.

I'll let you know how it goes!

22 Comments:

At Thursday, January 12, 2006 5:23:00 PM, Blogger Erika said...

I join you in feeling violated, Amy. You buy organic, you drink bottled water, you eschew caffeine and alcohol and do your damndest to make sure your kid gets nothing but the best, and breast milk is supposed to be best. But little do we know how contaminated it might be, despite our best efforts. Makes me want to scream.

 
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