Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemicals From Teflon, Scotchgard Found in Human Breast Milk

02.05.2008
Researchers have detected perfluorinated compounds, used to make Teflon, Scotchgard and grease-resistant food packaging, in human milk samples from 45 nursing mothers in Massachusetts. This is the first study to document levels of these suspected carcinogens in breast milk.

Chemicals used to make nonstick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics are spreading around the world and turning up in surprising places, everywhere from wildlife and drinking water supplies to human blood. Now, a team of researchers including Kathleen Arcaro of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found these suspected carcinogens in samples of human milk from nursing mothers in Massachusetts.

“Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, are found in human blood around the world, including the blood of newborns, but this is the first study in the United States to document their occurrence in human milk,” says Arcaro, a professor in the department of veterinary and animal sciences and a member of the environmental sciences program. “While nursing does not expose infants to a dose that exceeds recommended limits, breast milk should be considered as an additional source of PFCs when determining a child’s total exposure.”

The breast milk was collected as part of Arcaro’s larger, ongoing study examining the link between environmental exposures and breast cancer risk. Chemical analyses were conducted in the laboratory of Kuruntachalam Kannan at the New York State Department of Health. Results are scheduled for publication in Environmental Science and Technology. This research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Milk samples were collected in 2004 from 45 nursing mothers in Massachusetts and analyzed for nine different PFCs. Perfluorooctane-sulfonate (PFOS), used to make stain-resistant fabrics, was found in the highest concentration in breast milk, followed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in nonstick cookware. On average, each liter of milk, which is roughly equivalent to one quart, contained 131 billionths of a gram of PFOS and 44 billionths of a gram of PFOA. The amount of PFCs that nursing infants would consume each day did not exceed Total Daily Intake Values set by the U.K. Food Standards Agency Committee on Toxicology, which were based on a review of current toxicology studies.

Arcaro cautions that recommended intakes of PFCs based on Total Daily Intake values should be interpreted with caution, since there is no consensus on these values, which are derived from rodent studies. Mothers should also compare the risks of breast feeding with the benefits, which include better nutrition and immune system development and enhanced defense against infections in children.

Milk from mothers who were nursing for the first time was also studied to see how PFC concentrations changed over time. Total PFC concentrations and the concentration of PFOS increased during the first six months of nursing. “This may be related to increased food intake to meet the energy demands of nursing, and changes in food consumption patterns in nursing mothers,” says Arcaro. “In a Canadian study, diet was shown to contribute 61 percent of a person’s total daily intake of PFCs.”

Food sources of PFCs include grease-resistant packaging such as microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes, as well as fish and other animals that contain these chemicals. Exposure can also come from personal care products including dental floss and shampoo.

PFCs are persistent chemicals that can linger in the environment and the human body for years without being broken down. Several studies have documented their presence in the blood of newborns collected immediately after birth, and in children between the ages of 2 and 12, who have blood levels similar to those found in adults.

These studies led the team to investigate breast feeding as a source of PFCs, information that will be needed to determine the sources and magnitude of exposure in infants and children and whether PFCs have an effect on birth outcomes in newborns.

Barbara Weiss | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>