The peer-reviewed study, published on Thursday in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, found PFAS at levels in milk ranging from 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to more than 1,850ppt.
There are no standards for PFAS in breast milk, but the public health advocacy organization Environmental Working Group puts its advisory target for drinking water at 1ppt, and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, within the Department of Health and Human Services, recommends as little as 14ppt in children’s drinking water.
Actually, it’s telling us that analysis of trace elements has become better in recent years. When I first started in metals in the 1990s analysing to parts per million was still a fairly hazy idea. Could be done, certainly, but you’d not get the same results from different labs. Parts per billion, ppb, was something even the environmentalists only started worrying about more recently. Now we’re on to parts per trillion, ppt.
It’s possible that there is a real problem here, possible. But the real lesson to take first is how much better we’re getting at analysis.
As to personal opinion I’d worry much more about the contamination of the sampling equipment than anything else. The claim is that these chemicals are in packaging. OK, so, what’s the packaging of the testing equipment?