By By Elly Bradfield.
A Queensland mother fears toxins used in firefighting foam at a nearby Army base has been ingested by daughter through breastfeeding, after the child’s blood test came back 23 times higher than the state average.
The Defence Department admitted on Thursday women who ate contaminated food and breastfed may have passed on elevated levels, but said the risk to long-term health was still very low.
The chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA) were used in firefighting foam at the Oakey base, west of Brisbane, from the 1980s until 2003.
Former Oakey resident Kristy Jackson has elevated levels of PFOS and breastfed her daughter Evie until she was two.
She also fed Evie organic food, some of which was taken from her parent’s vegetable patch near the base, where the toxins had reached the groundwater.
“Little did we know that we’re actually poisoning them, instead of feeding them nice healthy organic food,” she said.
“That was like a real kick in the guts.
“She was exposed through pregnancy and being conceived by two parents who have very high levels — she’s kind of doomed from the beginning I think.
“Initially I was upset, very emotional, but mainly just really angry because I’ve spent all of her life trying to avoid chemicals and toxins.”
Ms Jackson's now four-year-old Evie has returned a blood test for PFOS at 234ng/ml, well above the state average of 10.25ng/ml.
Residents had been told food grown in the contamination zone was a low and acceptable risk, but the department said the advice now advises residents to avoid food produced in the area.
Australia's food standards body also this week dramatically .
Ms Jackson said the relationship with Defence has been difficult, but it has expressed interest in testing samples of frozen breast milk.
"It was only because I spoke out about the breastfeeding issue that we are getting somewhere now," she said.
Ms Jackson believes her auto immune disease, thyroid issues and gastrointestinal disorders are also related to the exposure.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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