Toxins In Breastmilk

Toxins Found in Breast Milk

  • PCBs: Man-made toxins.
  • PVC: In toys, food packaging and some medical products. When burnt PVC produces dioxins.
  • Penta: Used in all furniture foams and electronics.
  • Insect killers (pesticides)
  • Chemicals in the work place.
  • Contaminated food or water.
  • Weed killers (herbicides).
  • Waste site toxins that have contaminated water or soil nearby.
  • Plastic bottles that contain BPA. 

These toxic substances affect the nervous system, hormone (endocrine system) and the reproductive system of animals. Some countries have actually stopped using PVC.

These toxins are found in mostly fatty foods like meat and milk.

Other Contaminants such as lead, mercury, heavy metals, and solvents have been found in breast milk too.

Toxins Found in Formula Milk

Formula milk has lower levels of PCBs and dioxins than breast milk, but has a risk of containing the following:

  • Traces of lead & aluminium from processing the formula.
  • Formula is mixed with tap water, which contains nitrate fertilisers and weed fillers.

Despite all the Toxins in Breastmilk...

Is Breast Still Best?

Making Our Milk Safe (MOMS). MOMS works to educate the community on the risk of the toxins in breastmilk and calls for government action to ban chemicals that can hurt breastfed infants. Their website,, has a range of resources, articles, and updates on present efforts to pass legislation.

Yes. Breast milk contains antioxidants, which act against the toxins. Breast milk also helps baby develop a stronger immune system.

The levels of toxins in the air and in food are becoming less and less as time goes by, reducing the risk of toxins in breastmilk. Also, if you live in a rural area away from waste and incinerators, you have a lower level of exposure to these toxins.

Formula can be contaminated with bacteria, organisms and other particles. In September 2008, about 15,000 babies from China where hospitalized for drinking formula that was contaminated with melamine. 

More babies are harmed by drinking formula, than breastfed babies, even in cases where breast milk has been found to be highly contaminated. 

Even though the contamination in breast milk can cause health issues, breast milk can protect baby from these health problems, where as if baby was drinking formula, nothing in the formula can protect the baby. 

How can I Limit the Amount of Toxins in my Breast Milk?

  • Stay away from: Household paints, Glue, Furniture stripper, Nail polish, Petrol fumes, Pesticides and Perfume.
  • Eat less meat and more vegetables.
  • Avoid eating swordfish, shark and tuna.
  • Wash non organic foods thoroughly.
  • Stay away from food cooked in vegetable fat.
  • Do not take any fish-liver-oil food supplements.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke and alcohol.
  • Avoid freezing milk in plastic packets, as extreme temperatures (hot and cold) cause dioxins to ooze into liquids.
  • Drink more water, so that your body can get rid of most of the toxins through urine instead of through your breast milk.
  • Exercise will also help to eliminate most toxins through your skin, instead of through your breast milk. Read more about breastfeeding and exercise
  • To ladies with breast implants or who are thinking of getting them, if you plan on breastfeeding, consider these points:

1. Silicone breast implants can leak. Many children breastfed on breasts with implants show no harmful effects, but some do and the effects can be extremely dreadful. There are many families dealing with the effects of implants on their child's health.

2. Studies have found high levels of platinum salts in the breast milk of women with silicone gel breast implants. That’s because platinum is used to create the shells of the implants (not for saline implants). The platinum can cause harsh allergic or toxic reactions.

The False Fear of Toxic Breast milk

Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" connected to toxins in breast milk

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