High Levels Of ‘Forever Chemicals,’ PFAs Found In American Women’s Breast Milk

A new study shows American women’s breast milk has high levels of PFAs.

There were 50 samples of mothers’ breast milk used in a study, and the study came out to show PFA levels in American women’s breastmilk are nearly 2,000 times higher than what health advocates would determine is safe for drinking water. The Guardian reports that the findings “are cause for concern” because the high levels could harm newborns’ health.

PFAs are human-made chemicals found in everyday items we use as humans that can potentially cause adverse health impacts, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, and more. They are often to referred to as “forever chemicals” because they don’t naturally break down in the human body and sometimes grow within the human body.

“The study shows that PFAS contamination of breast milk is likely universal in the U.S. and that these harmful chemicals are contaminating what should be nature’s perfect food,” said Erika Schreder, a co-author and science director with Toxic Free Future. The non-profit is based in Seattle, and it works toward finding alternatives to chemicals, The Guardian reports.

Some of the chemicals have been linked to cancer, congenital disabilities, and other issues. The study was reviewed by peers and was published on Thursday in the Environmental Science and Technology journal. PFAs ranging from 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to more than 1,850ppt were found in American women’s milk.

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