What is the effects radioactive materials have on breast milk?


Question:

I am breastfeeding my baby.  I heard that radioactive material exceeding the index values was detected in the water treatment plant.  Is there anything I can do for my baby? (Female, 40s, Tokyo)

Answer:

According to the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, radioactive iodine contained in breast milk has been estimated that about a quarter of the amount ingested by the mother.  Thus, as of April 24, there will be on danger to health in the mother or baby if you continue breast-feeding.

But we agree that most mothers want to reduce radiation exposure to babies as much as possible.  If reducing radioactive material as much as possible in breast milk, sports drinks, mineral water (soft water) and juices are recommended to mothers.

Radioactive iodine (I-131) decays spontaneously and the amount of it will be half in about eight days.  So, setting aside some tap water for even a day or two days is effective in reducing the radioactive material.  If you would like to preserve tap water for a long time, you should extract it to use after frozen storage for hygiene reasons.

Breastfeeding mothers have given the fluids that radioactive iodine is less.  It means that mother guards baby with her life!  Currently, 27 April, the levels of radioactive materials in tap water are above the index values across the country.  But please pay attention to future announcements.


Science Communicator: Naoki Kobayashi & Yuko Hashimoto


Links

Radioactive Iodine 131 in Tap Water
Handling of the Index Levels on Radioactive Materials in Tap Water,etc-MHLW