Shocking Fact of the Day: Inuit Breast Milk is Hazardous Waste Material
From Jared Diamonds book, “Collapse:How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive“. (page 518, paperback).
Â A more sinister example of bad things transported from the First World to developing countries is that the highest blood levels of toxic industrial chemicals and pesticides reported for any people in the world are for Eastern Greenland’s and Siberia’s Inuit people (Eskimos), who are also among the most remote from sites of chemical manufacture or heavy use. Their blood levels mercury levels are nevertheless in the range associated with acute mercury poisoning, while the levels of toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)Â in Inuit mothers’ breast milk fall in the range high enough to classify their milk as “hazardous waste” (my italics).
This happens because their diet is solely fish based and those fish in turn eat other smaller animals that concentrate these waste products that are found distributed throughout the sea.Â We get a hit of this stuff too, but in much smaller amounts because of the proportionately smaller amount of fish we eat.