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Many women who breastfeed will apply cream to their breasts without too much consideration for what’s in it. Hopefully, you now will not be one of them. Studies have actually found that mineral oil paraffins can bioaccumulate in both fat tissue and human breast milk. According to the authors of one 2008 study:

“Mineral paraffins might be the largest contaminant of our body, widely amounting to 1gram per person and reaching 10 grams in extreme cases.”

It’s believed that your baby may receive about one percent of the mineral paraffin accumulated in your body and breast milk.  A previous study sums up the problem of using mineral oil-containing skin creams when you’re breastfeeding:

“Beside exposure of babies via human milk, the intake by direct licking off salves (in the worst case consisting of Vaseline) from the breast of their nursing mothers may be much higher. In a worst case situation, daily intake from breast care products by babies is estimated to reach 40mg/kg bw.

Many compositions do not comply with the specifications and a temporary group ADI of 0-4mg/kg bw established by the SCF. This possible exposure of babies either calls for a toxicological re-evaluation of the mineral paraffins or for measures ensuring that exposure of babies is reduced.”

The concern is a valid one, especially in light of the fact that mineral oil has been linked to no less than 23 different diseases and health problems, according to GreenMedInfo.com’s excellent research database, including autoimmune diseases and a number of different cancers.

With that in mind, please avoid using creams and lotions that contain mineral oil (especially Vaseline) on your breasts while you’re still breastfeeding. It would also be wise to avoid putting baby oil on your baby’s skin, as most baby oil brands contain straight mineral oil!

Putting chemicals on your skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body.

Remember, your skin is your largest organ — and also the thinnest. Less than 1/10th of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable. Most items you rub on  your skin will end up in your bloodstream, and will be distributed throughout your body. This is why I’m so fond of saying “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to…” and a petrochemical is certainly not something you would eat!

However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs. And once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. When you add up daily exposure over the course of a lifetime, it really adds up!

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