Vegan Health ArticlesFish and Shellfish: Contamination Problems Preclude Inclusion in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
A Vegan Health Article from

These vegan health articles are presented to assist you in taking a pro-active part in your own health.

See Health Position and Disclaimer

From Spring 2004

Toxins Pass from Mother to Child

Scientists and doctors have long known that chemicals consumed by mothers-to-be are readily passed to the fetus. Such chemicals are also passed to infants via breast milk. In fact, pollutants such as mercury show up in higher concentrations in fetal blood than in maternal blood. A recent report showed that blood mercury levels in a fetus may be as much as 70 percent higher than in the motherís levels.3

Infants and small children are often especially sensitive to the effects of toxins, because of their developing body systems and their small size; thus, it is essential for mothers to limit their exposure to toxins as much as possible. Avoiding foods and medicines known to contain toxins is one important way to do this. More than 20 years ago, when waterways were somewhat less polluted, the breast milk of vegetarian mothers had only 1 to 2 percent of the national average levels of certain pesticides and industrial chemicals compared to levels in the breast milk of omnivorous Americans.22 A second contemporary study found that the organochlorine contaminants (such as DDT and PCBs) were highest in the breast milk of fish-eating omnivores, intermediate in omnivores, and lowest in vegetarians.23

Go on to: Government Warnings
Return to: Fish and Shellfish: Contamination Problems Preclude Inclusion in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Return to Vegan Health Articles
Visit Food Hazards in Animal Flesh and By-products Health Position and Disclaimer

We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.