Reducing Your Child's Exposure to Toxic Metals in Baby Food

Did you know that toxic metals are not always adequately tested for in baby food? Ingredients in baby food are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in other products such as bottled water. Arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury are in the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of concern for infants and children. As natural elements, they are in the soil in which crops are grown and thus can't be avoided. Some crop fields and regions, however, contain more toxic levels than others, partly due to the overuse of metal-containing pesticides and ongoing industrial pollution. heavy metals have been linked to cancer, chronic disease and neurotoxic effects, but it's the devastating damage that can be done to a developing baby's brain that makes baby food toxicity so critical.

The US Food and Drug Administration has not yet set minimum levels for heavy metals in most infant food. The agency did set a standard of 100 parts per billion inorganic arsenic for infant rice cereal, but even that level is considered much too high for baby's safety, critics say, especially since the FDA has already set a much lower standard of 10 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic for bottled water.

So what can you do?

Avoid rice cereal and rice flour products

Parents can reduce their baby's exposure to arsenic in rice products by limiting their intake of infant rice cereal or other products and snacks that are made with rice flour. Substitute rice-based cereals with infant oatmeal cereal or other grains.

Avoid Juice and choose a variety of fruits & veggies

Ingredients in many baby foods, including some organic fare, are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water, congressional investigators said on Thursday.

Remember "organic" does not mean metal-free

Ingredients in many baby foods, including some organic fare, are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water, congressional investigators said on Thursday.




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