Are pregnant women who eat fish, other meat, and dairy still passing along the pesticide DDT even decades after it was banned?
Just because mothers have a certain level of industrial pollutants in their fat tissue, or blood stream doesn’t necessarily reflect what they’re passing on to their child, so researchers last year decided to measure pesticide levels right out of the umbilical cord blood. At delivery, as soon as you cut the cord they squirt a little in a vial before they tie it off.
318 mothers studied and even now decades after it was banned, “almost all umbilical cord blood samples, 95%, showed detectable DDT residues.” Not exactly the first thing we want to be passing along to our newborns. The most common DDT residue found was a derivative called DDE, which was found most closely associated with the mother’s consumption of three types of foods. Because organochlorine pesticides are attracted to fat, they accumulate in foods of animal origin. “meat, fish, and dairy products were associated with the presence of DDE in umbilical cord serum.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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The reference to pollutants in mothers' fat is from Friday's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Pollutants in Californian Breast Tissue. The dozens of chemicals found in the bodies of pregnant Americans is explored in CDC Report on Environmental Chemical Exposure. For more on which foods appear most contaminated, see yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Food Sources of Flame Retardant Chemicals. I have 30 other videos on eating for healthy pregnancies, including Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees, Preventing Childhood Allergies, and Pregnant Vegans at Risk for Iodine Deficiency. Even if we do pass a load of pollutants onto our babies, how long does it take their bodies to get rid of them? That’s covered tomorrow in How Fast Can Children Detoxify from PCBs?
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