A new study has revealed that the levels of environmental contaminants in a mother's body decrease during breast-feeding.
After a year of lactation, the levels of a number of environmental contaminants in breast milk drop by 15 - 94 per cent, the research found.
In a recent study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the researchers investigated how the content of environmental contaminants in breast milk changes during the lactation period for each mother.
Over 30 compounds of known contaminants such as brominated flame-retardants, PCBs, and perfluorinated compounds were studied.
The study shows that the levels of almost all compounds in milk decrease with time, and are reduced by 15-94 per cent within a year of lactation. This must be considered when evaluating the benefits and possible risks of breast-feeding.
From previous studies we know that the levels of known environmental contaminants in breast milk and blood have fallen sharply in recent decades.
The exceptions are brominated flame-retardants and perfluorinated compounds, which first began to decline around the turn of the century.
The decline has shown that measures taken by industry and by authorities to reduce the spread of these substances into the environment has meant that the population does not ingest as many environmental contaminants as before.