High amounts of chemicals found in breast milkBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7093.1501j (Published 24 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1501
- Jacqui Wise
Breast fed infants are receiving up to 17 times the tolerable amount of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to a report submitted to the Department of Health.
High intakes of dioxins and PCBs have caused a wide spectrum of toxic effects in laboratory animals, including cancer and effects on the reproductive and immune system. The World Health Organisation set a tolerable daily intake in 1990 by determining the maximum dose which does not cause adverse effects in laboratory animals, and then extrapolating the figure for humans and applying a large safety margin.
However, the chief medical officer, Sir Kenneth Calman, said that as the tolerable level is based on lifetime exposure to these pollutants, …