PFAS and breastfeeding
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PFAS and breastfeeding

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      The broad and compelling advantages of breastfeeding for infants and mothers have been documented with extensive research. Breastfeeding is beneficial for the health of infants and mothers. Some of the many benefits for infants include a reduced risk of ear and respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding can also help lower a mother’s risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, and continuation of breastfeeding, with the introduction of complementary foods, for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.

      Multiple factors play a role in the personal decision to breastfeed an infant. The potential for exposing an infant to environmental chemicals, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), through breast milk is one of the many factors that mothers and their families may consider. PFAS are widely dispersed and ubiquitous in the environment, and most people in the United States and other industrialized countries have measurable amounts of PFAS in their blood. Research studies have shown that PFAS can be found in human breast milk and excreted through lactation. 3 The mechanism by which PFAS enter breast milk is not yet fully understood. The level of exposure to an infant depends on a number of circumstances, some of which include the level of PFAS in the mother, the amount of PFAS that transfers to her breast milk, and the duration of breastfeeding.

      CS 325257-A November 17, 2021


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