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Environmental Chemicals in Breast Milk
Marchitti, S. Environmental Chemicals in Breast Milk. Chapter ., Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, Holland, , 1, (2013).
book chapter in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
Most of the information available on environmental chemicals in breast milk is focused on persistent, lipophilic chemicals; the database on levels of these chemicals has expanded substantially since the 1950s. Currently, various types of chemicals are measured in breast milk and the number of countries for which data are available is increasing. Several emerging chemicals of interest are now receiving more attention. Many factors appear to influence the levels of environmental chemicals in breast milk, but further research is needed to better describe their importance. Current analytic techniques allow measurement of extremely small amounts of many compounds in breast milk, and it is unlikely that any breast milk sample collected from women in either the industrialized or non-industrialized countries will be free of environmental chemicals. However, studies examining numerous health end points have consistently concluded that breast-feeding is recommended despite the presence of environmental chemicals in breast milk. According to the World Health Organization, evidence for the health advantages of breast-feeding and scientific evidence to support breast-feeding has continued to increase with breast-feeding reducing child mortality and conferring health benefits that extend into adulthood.