Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New York Post Online Edition: health
February 15, 2005 -- "I showed Gov. Pataki my breast. In public. And he didn't bat an eye. I'm not a flasher — I'm a nursing mother. And generally a modest one. But when I decided to breastfeed my 15-week-old daughter, Anya, I quickly learned that to avoid being cloistered in my apartment for the next six months, I was going to have to take my milk to town. The idea terrified me. I imagined well-intentioned strangers approaching for a glimpse of the baby only to discover that my pink bundle of joy was milking me like a Jersey cow. And it hasn't always been easy. At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law's European family shunned me. They actually fled the living room when I decided to unbutton for a post-Turkey feeding. My sister-in-law forbid me to nurse in front of her family after that — a decree she's refused to budge on...."
Breast-Feeding Could Provide Jury Exemption (washingtonpost.com)
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By Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page B01
"RICHMOND, Feb. 14 -- When Pamela Greene told a Fairfax County judge she was breast-feeding her 4-month-old daughter last year, she expected to be excused from jury duty. Instead, the judge informed Greene that breast-feeding wouldn't be a problem: The court would take plenty of breaks. What followed was a two-day ordeal in which Greene said she spent every spare moment sitting on a toilet in the jury room restroom pumping breast milk. It was hard to get access to a refrigerator to keep the milk cold, and the bathroom felt unsanitary, she said...."
The Globe and Mail: Flame retardants building up within us
Globe and Mail
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - Page A19
"Those dust bunnies lurking under the bed may not be as innocuous as you think. New Canadian research shows that household dust is the principal source of exposure to flame retardants, a class of chemicals that has sparked a heated debate among scientists, some of whom believe regular exposure may lead to serious learning and developmental problems. Toddlers in particular are ingesting significant amounts of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), according to a study to be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. "Dust is the greatest route of exposure to brominated flame retardants," said Miriam Diamond, a professor in the department of geography at the University of Toronto. "It makes a lot of sense. Toddlers are close to the ground, which is where many of those flame retardants are -- in carpets, in furniture. The chemicals accumulate in the dust." In her paper, Dr. Diamond estimates that the average urban Canadian ingests 155 to 1,965 nanograms daily of PBDEs, with the highest levels found in babies but decreasing as people age. (A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram.) But breast-feeding infants have much higher exposures, from 24 to 28,680 nanograms daily. Earlier research found that flame retardants are commonplace in the breast milk of Canadians but concluded that despite high levels, women should continue to breastfeed because the known benefits outweigh the known risks...."