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!