More than chemicals in a mother’s milk, breast-fed babies face a greater risk from dirty air at home. An infant's exposure to gases known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air was 25-135-fold higher than from breast milk. "We ought to focus our efforts on reducing indoor air sources of these compounds," said Sungroul Kim of Johns Hopkins.
VOCs are gases emitted from solids and fluids such as paints, cleaning supplies, building materials, printers, glues and photographic solutions. The EPA found levels of a dozen common organic pollutants to be up to five times higher inside a house than outdoors, regardless of whether the home was in an urban or rural area.