Editor Note: Please read this article carefully before emailing us to slap us on the hand for recommending breastfeeding. We in no way suggest that below. Perchlorate is found in breastmilk due to that chemical contaminating drinking water. Our problem is with the chemical in general and while you may have less exposure through breastfeeding it does not eliminate it completely. Ok, read on:
Recently, 15 brands of infant formula have tested positive for a chemical called perchlorate. Perchlorate is a chemical used in rocket fuel, that is also found in drinking water. Like we didn’t have enough to worry about, right?
Now, while the CDC (who did the original tests) did not release the brands of formula they tested, two of the brands account for 87% of the U.S. Formula market. So with that, you can wager a guess as to which brands they were.
My son was formula fed exclusively, so this is really disturbing to me. We all drink water, and we mix the water with the formula. From the EWG:
The CDC team warned that mixing perchlorate-tainted formula powder with tap water containing “even minimal amounts” of the chemical could boost the resulting mixture’s toxin content above the level the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe. Many scientists contend that the EPA “safe” level is too high to protect public health.
Based on this study, the Environmental Working Group has recommended that EPA promptly set a legally enforceable upper limit on perchlorate contamination in drinking water, consistent with the latest science on perchlorate’s toxic effects.
Last fall, the Bush administration’s EPA leadership touched off a major furor by declaring that perchlorate posed no threat to most Americans and did not need to be regulated as a drinking water pollutant.
The decision was widely regarded as a major victory for the Pentagon and defense and aerospace contractors reluctant to pay clean-up costs that could mount into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
I don’t know why this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
So what can we do? We all know that breast milk is best and of course if you can breastfeed, you’re ingesting less perchlorate. But formula is sometimes necessary or preferred. There are a multitude of reasons why a woman may not be able to breastfeed and we shouldn’t have to worry on top of that whether or not the formula we feed our babies, is contaminated. According to the EWG’s article: “Perchlorate was found in all brands and types of infant formula tested,” the scientists said. The worst perchlorate contamination was found in formula based on cow’s milk with lactose.”
Right now we’re kind of between a rock and a hard place. Bottled water is polluted, filtered water might be a better answer. Possibly go with a brand or type of formula that is less likely to contain perchlorate (or even less perchlorate), but most of all, Contact your congress person. Contact your senator. Hell, contact the President himself. Write to them and let them know that this is unacceptable!! We should not have to live in fear of giving our children formula, or drinking water for that matter. The industry should not get to hide behind the EPA and get off scott-free so that we can continue to poison ourselves and our families.