Microplastics were detected in breast milk for the first time

Researchers from Italy have found microplastics in breast milk for the first time. This is a scary discovery because it could have health effects on babies that are not yet clear.

Munaeems Blog February 6 2023
microplastics Munaeems Blog

By 2020, the same Italian researchers had already found microplastic in placentas. Other studies have already found these tiny pieces of plastic in the lungs, faeces, and blood of humans. But the results of the study, which were published in the scientific journal Polymers and reported by the Guardian newspaper on Friday, worry the team because babies are especially vulnerable to chemical contaminants. This is especially true when you consider what was found in placentas before.

The scientists came to the conclusion that chemicals “that could be in foods, drinks, and personal care products that a breastfeeding mother eats or drinks can be passed on to the child and could have a toxic effect.” Because of this, it is “mandatory to increase efforts in scientific research to learn more about how the ingestion and accumulation of microplastics, especially in babies, could harm health.”

Even with the results, the people who ran the study say that breastfeeding is still the best way to feed a new baby. Valentina Notarstefano from Universitá Politecnica delle Marche told the Guardian that the benefits of breastfeeding are “much greater” than the problems caused by microplastics that pollute the environment.

“Studies like ours shouldn’t make parents less likely to breastfeed their babies. Instead, they should make people more aware so they can put pressure on politicians to support laws that reduce pollution,” he said. Not least because a 2020 study found that babies who drink from bottles swallow millions of tiny pieces of plastic every day.

The Italian study took samples of breast milk from 34 healthy mothers in Rome one week after they had given birth. They did this without using any plastics. Microplastics were found in 26 of the 34 samples, or about 76%. Polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and polypropylene were the most common types.

Pinto, José Volta e, and {{nome}}. “Microplásticos Detectados Em Leite Materno Pela Primeira Vez | Poluição | PÚBLICO.” PÚBLICO, 8 Oct. 2022, www.publico.pt/2022/10/08/azul/noticia/microplasticos-detectados-leite-materno-primeira-2023314.

see also : Disposable cups emit huge amounts of microplastic particles: a Study