Persistent Organic Contaminants in Human Milk

Naushin Nagji and Bruce C. Wainman PhD

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are always components of human milk and can be transferred to infants through lactation. This paper describes the POPs and discusses the risks that POPs in human milk pose to nursing infants. Features of select POPs that are explained in this paper include their uses, toxicity and temporal trends. The levels of most POPs are declining in human milk due to a series of international bans and restrictions that have been placed on the manufacturing and/or use of the chemicals. However, there is still concern regarding the continued exposure to POPs from leaks in electrical equipment and vector control programs. Although these contaminants continue to be detected in human milk samples, women are still encouraged to breastfeed their newborn children. It is firmly believed that the benefits of lactation for both the mother and her child outweigh the health hazards that POPs present.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), breastfeeding, lactation, human milk, environmental contaminants Cet article a été évalué par des pairs.

This article has been peer reviewed.


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