Microplastics found in breast milk

Verified on 10/19/2022 by PasseportSanté
Des microplastiques retrouvés dans du lait maternel

In a recent study, Italian researchers made the sad discovery of finding microplastics in breast milk.

While the impact of these particles on infants has not yet been demonstrated, this discovery is causing concern among scientists.

Microplastics detected in 75% of breast milk samples

In a study published last July in the journal Polymers, researchers discovered the presence of microplastics in human breast milk.

To reach this conclusion, scientists analyzed the breast milk of 34 healthy women, one week after giving birth. The results? Microplastics were detected in 75% of the samples, and more specifically in 26 of the 34 samples.

The omnipresence of microplastics

Among the microplastics found in breast milk, the researchers mainly found polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polypropylene. Most of these components are found in plastic packaging.

To understand the origin of the microplastics, the researchers analyzed data specific to the young mothers: consumption of fish or shellfish in the 7 days preceding the analysis, consumption of products packaged in plastic, use of beauty products contained in plastic…

After comparing the samples according to these risk factors, the scientists noticed no difference in the amount of microplastics.  » This suggests that the ubiquitous presence of microplastics in the environment makes human exposure unavoidable, through ingestion, inhalation or skin contact « , as the study authors explain.

Breastfeeding is still the best way to feed a baby

While the impact of these particles on infants was not demonstrated within the study, the researchers make it a major concern and call for  » intensified scientific research efforts to deepen knowledge of the potential health risks caused by the internalization and accumulation of microplastics, particularly in infants « .

Despite this discovery, scientists are still advising young mothers tobreastfeed their infants. And for good reason: baby bottles also contain microplastics.

 » The advantages of breastfeeding far outweigh the disadvantages caused by the presence of polluting microplastics, » explains Dr. Valentina Notarstefano, who recommends that pregnant women and young mothers avoid using products packaged with plastic as much as possible.