There has been a large amount of press about studies that have detected flame retardant chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE) in the breastmilk of American and Canadian women. Following are links with more information.
- Information on the studies
- Responses to concerns about the study findings
- More information
Report: Flame Retardants in the Bodies of Pacific Northwest Residents. Northwest Environment Watch. September 29, 2004.
Benefits of breastfeeding from Northwest Environment Watch.
Talking points on breastfeeding and PBDEs from Northwest Environment Watch.
TSRI # 237 – Impact of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers on Canadian Environment and Health of Canadians. Health Canada Toxic Substances Research Initiative.
Report: Flame Retardants in Puget Sound Residents from the Washington Toxics Coalition
Study: Schecter A, Pavuk M, Papke O, Ryan JJ, Birnbaum L, Rosen R. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in U.S. Mothers’ Milk. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Nov;111(14):1723-9.
Mothers’ Milk: Record levels of toxic fire retardants found in American mothers’ breast milk – news release and detailed report on the study from the Environmental Working Group
Breastfeeding is safe for normal growth and development; not breastfeeding because of environmental pollutants will cause needless harm to infants. INFACT Canada Press release. June 9, 2004.
Contaminants have been found in human milk. Should I wean my baby? FAQ from LLLI. November, 2003.
Flame Retardant Pollutants by Thomas Hale, RPh, PhD. September 23, 2003
Breastfeeding Remains Best Choice in a Polluted World, LLLI Media Release. August 2003.
Flame Retardants: Concern for Mothers, Breastmilk, Infants and the Public from Breastfeeding Matters, Summer 2003, Volume 6, No. 2, published by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
Flame Retardants: A General Introduction, Environmental Health Criteria Series No. 192, World Health Organization, Geneva, 1997. A good overview of the history, use, and dangers of flame retardants.