Babies and young children may be at risk of exposure to arsenic due to their limited diets and small bodies. Soft foods such as rice and rice-based products, applesauce, foods mixed with pureed apples and pears are usually some of the first foods introduced to children.
Unfortunately, many of these foods and the products made with these ingredients can be a source of arsenic. In many areas of the US, rice fields and apple/pear orchards were previously treated with arsenic containing pesticides and/or fertilizers contaminated with arsenic. While most arsenic containing pesticides are now banned, the soil on which rice and fruit trees is grown still contains arsenic in some parts of the US. There are ways to reduce the risk of arsenic exposure from food sources that are healthful for infants and children as well as members of the family of any age.