Erika, a friend of Ted’s from college, sent us this link to a recent TV story describing her participation in a breastmilk study. All 20 of the mothers in the study were found to have traces of toxic flame retardants in their milk. These chemicals are known to be harmful to rodents, but it is not known yet what effect they have in humans.
Now this is surprising to me most of all because we know Erika. We’ve known her for years. (Those of you at our wedding may remember her with the guest book…) And we know that she makes excellent choices about her lifestyle and diet. She bicycled to work, through the streets of Seattle, even in the later stages of her pregnancy. Erika and her husband turned their front yard into an organic vegetable garden, with tall tomatoes to greet you by the door. As for the ABC News Medical Editor’s advice to reduce animal fat in the diet – well, I can’t remember ever seeing Erika eat animal fat. I admire Erika and her family’s lifestyle, how simple and organic they are, and how they live what they believe. Learning that her breastmilk is contaminated, is a bit of a shock to me.
While the significance of this study is still unclear, what is clear to me is that even we try to live a simple and natural life, toxins are still in our bodies, flowing into our babies, going into the next generation. What can we do about it? And what will it take for me – and others – to be motivated enough to make the changes we need to make? Or is it already too late?