Invited Perspective: PFAS in Breast Milk and Infant Formula—It’s Time to Start Monitoring

By Judy S. LaKind
March 2, 2023
DOI: 10.1289/EHP12134

The study by Yao et al.1 in this issue of Environmental Health Perspectives advances our understanding of infant exposures to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). They note that “it is essential to provide a national baseline of PFAS exposure in human milk … and to assess the risks of emerging and legacy PFAS exposure in exclusively breastfed infants.” It is impossible to argue with that point, and in fact for years my colleagues and I have made similar calls for national breast milk monitoring programs.2 Although several countries have developed national programs to assess human exposures to environmental chemicals using blood and urine (among them the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Canadian Health Measures Survey, the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative, the China National Human Biomonitoring study, and the Korean National Environmental Health Survey), similar efforts around breast milk are lacking. Why is this and what does it mean for infants?


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