Nursing Birth

One Labor & Delivery Nurse’s View From the Inside

CDC Scientists Find Rocket Fuel Chemical In Infant Formula April 4, 2009

Filed under: In The News — NursingBirth @ 10:31 AM
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I feel like I have been on a breastfeeding support and advocacy kick lately.  I am currently in the process of obtaining my certification to be a Certified Lactation Educator through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), have recently been reading a lot of breastfeeding books, and have passionately blogged against “The Case Against Breastfeeding”  (see: Why The Today Show Hurts America (or, Battling The Case Against Breastfeeding).


So you can imagine how an article entitled Powdered Cow’s Milk Formula Contains Thyroid Toxin recently published on the Environmental Working Group’s website would have caught my eye.


The article states that researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that 15 brands of powdered infant formula are contaminated with perchlorate (a rocket fuel component detected in drinking water in 28 states and territories) and that two most contaminated brands, made from cow’s milk, accounted for 87 percent of the U.S. powdered formula market in 2000.


What is even more disturbing is that the report states that the CDC team cautioned that mixing perchlorate-tainted formula powder with tap water containing “even minimal amounts” of the chemical could increase the resulting mixture’s toxin content above the level the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed “safe”.  Other scientists challenge the EPA’s current “safe” level, believing that it is too high to adequately protect public health.


If this isn’t yet another reason we need to continue to increase the support in our maternity care system and in our communities for new mothers to initiate and continue successful breastfeeding with their newborns and infants, I don’t know what is!


2 Responses to “CDC Scientists Find Rocket Fuel Chemical In Infant Formula”

  1. Joy Says:

    I heard about this and was both disturbed and disheartened. Some women cannot breastfeed, or at least aren’t given enough encouragement when it’s not going so well. For me, I had to stop nursing each of my daughters early on. I had to use nipple shields and felt so hopeless and like such a failure when we had to stop and go to formula (we used soy-based formula).

    Both times I tried getting nursing support in the hospital I was so disappointed with the inability of the nursing staff to encourage me, help me, etc. They basically just tried shoving my baby’s face into my chest while they were screaming. By the time a lactation consultant came around on my discharge day I was crying and the baby was contentedly drinking from a glass Enfamil bottle.

    This time around I feel I have more knowledge and wisdom, I know what to expect and how to fight for what I want. And especially after hearing what is FOUND in formula, I hope we can stick it out for the long run.

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Joy, I am saddened that you feel lack of support was a big factor in your decision to switch to formula. Unfortunately, you are not alone in this experience. I recommed a book for you to read: “So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide” by Janet Tamaro. It is HILARIOUS, very informative, very realistic, and very helpful. Its a really easy read too.

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