“In the year 2012, breast-feeding still passes many good things from mother to baby: vitamins, minerals and “a solid hedge of extras to help ward off a lifetime of diseases.” But the practice also typically transfers “paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline by-products, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides” and varieties of flame retardants, one of which, Penta-BDE, was banned by the European Union because of its chronic toxicity to humans.”
A Natural and Unnatural History
By Florence Williams
Illustrated. 338 pp. W. W. Norton & Company. $25.95.