Limiting Heavy Metals in Baby Food

  • 1 yr ago


Limiting Heavy Metals in Baby Food

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed maximum limits for the amount of heavy metals in baby foods, such as dry cereals and mashed fruits and vegetables. Years of studies has revealed that many processed products contain levels of heavy metals that are known to pose a risk to neurological development in babies and young children.

How do these metals get into baby foods?

Rain washes pollutants from factories, landfills, animal feed lots and roadways into lakes, rivers and streams. These pollutants then travel through groundwater and irrigation streams to contaminate crops and soils. In addition to contamination through soil, baby food can become contaminated with heavy metals through additives like fortified vitamin mixes

Why is this a concern for babies?

Infants and toddlers grow rapidly, developing key body systems and laying the foundation for lifelong cardiovascular, immune and brain health. Because they are far smaller than adults, a small dose of any toxin can be harmful. They may also be less efficient at metabolizing toxins than adults. Small amounts of lead, for instance, have been found to affect behavior, I.Q. and academic achievement.

What products should you avoid when feeding a baby?

Rice, which is often used in baby cereal and snack puffs, is consistently identified in studies as the food with the highest levels of arsenic, which is associated with cancer. The problem is believed to stem from rice farming in fields that are flooded year after year with water that can contaminate the soil.

For more information on Reducing Exposure to Contaminants from Foods click here.

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