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Breast Feeding

I am inquiring on breastfeeding and welding.

06/19/2006

Question:

I wanted to know If you are welding what type of mask would be sufficient to keep airborne particles out of my lungs so my breastmilk doesnt get contaminated.I weld aluminum, but I also sand it, and work with it other ways also.Is it going to be safe to go back to my old job and feed my child? Another thing of concern is that when you weld the process gives off smoke which uasually goes right into your face and cannot be helped. This smoke is made of a variety of chemicals that are the result of a chemical reaction. I do not know what the smoke is composed of as we use a variety of different shielding gasses.I donot want to harm my child please help me with this if you can . thanks

Answer:

Any mask that is protective of you is enough to protect your child. Surely your employer requires that you wear a protective mask and glasses or goggles that protect you from these noxious gasses and chemicals. You should also be wearing protective gloves and clothing in addition to mask and goggles to protect your eyes, mouth and lungs. If not, I would wonder if your employer is complying with OSHA regulations. When you get home, you should change clothing and shower before handling or breastfeeding your baby. With these precautions, your milk (and you) should be free of any toxic contaminants, and you can safely go back to your job and breastfeed your baby without any worries.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati