Prolonged exposure to baby milk powder increases the risk of breathing problems, including wheezing and breathlessness, a study has found.
It looked at 170 Thai factory workers who made the powder, but the team from University of Birmingham says the risk could also apply to nannies. Mothers and babies are safe, because they have relatively little exposure.
But the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, says at-risk workers should be monitored. It is already known that consuming milk powder can lead to the development of an allergy if a child has an intolerance to cow's milk but the potential risks of inhaling milk powder have never before been studied.
In this research, a team from the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Birmingham and Thailand's Mahidol University looked at just under 170 workers in a Thai baby milk factory. The factory had high hygiene standards, and concentrations of milk powder dust were relatively low.
The majority - 130 - were directly involved in manufacturing and packaging baby milk. Another 22 were responsible for adding vitamins to the milk and 15 were quality controllers. The researchers compared these workers' health with that of 76 office workers using a questionnaire and lung function tests.
Source - BBC