Sleep deprivation, diaper changing and night feeding are some of the common challenges parents face with a newborn at home. To facilitate the transition, parents often rely on the convenience of in-house baby food to provide the nutrients their children need to develop into healthy infants, young adults, teenagers and, eventually, adults. However, it is very likely that almost every can, jar and bag of baby food in the store will contain traces of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, according to a new study.
The study was commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) and detailed in a report released on Thursday that 168 baby foods from major US manufacturers are investigating the presence of four heavy metals: arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium.
The study found that 95 percent of baby food products were contaminated with at least one of the four heavy metals and 25 percent contained all four metals. Only nine of the 1
"Any amount of heavy metal can potentially be dangerous to a growing and developing baby," Dr. Jen Trachtenberg. A state-recognized parenting expert, Salon explained. "There are metallic contaminants everywhere in the environment, in the water and in the soil."
The most popular baby foods with the highest risk include fruit juices and rice-based products, including puff snacks and rice cereals. Rice is particularly effective at absorbing arsenic, a widely used pesticide, as it grows. Four out of seven rice cereal grains tested contained inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of the metal, in amounts in excess of the Food and Drug Administration's suggested limit of 100 parts per animal billion.
As rice is grown in water, plants and grains tend to absorb more inorganic arsenic than other foods, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Leafy vegetables and root crops such as sweet potatoes and carrots also hold higher levels of heavy metals than other vegetables. Even organic products are not reliable according to the study.
t food from the start, rather than relying on old recommendations for rice cereals, for example, "said Trachtenberg." As shown by this study, rice and fruit juices are rich in heavy metals. This is just another reason why parents should avoid them as a daily first baby food. Oatmeal or other mixed cereals should be used and, after six months of age, add additional water to breast milk or milk formula.
The study included 61 brands and 13 types of foods, including baby food, bite biscuits, cereals, and fruit juices.There were baby foods from various stores across the country – supermarkets, dollar stores, baby shops, super stores – and two purchased and rated pure online stores.
Despite these findings, parents can take precautionary measures to help them prevent their children from being contaminated by heavy metals.
"Parents can help their children use less lead and other heavy metals By giving their children a well-balanced diet with a variety of calcium and iron-rich foods, as well as reducing foods, they can increase the amount of fruit juice they drink, "Dr. Scott Jelinek, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital, across from Salon.
There is also no need for parents to serve juice to their children. A According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a drink for children under the age of 1 years has no nutritional benefit. The juice contains no fiber and also carries the risk of tooth decay and excessive weight gain.  9659002] "There is no need for young children to drink juice," said Trachtenbergs. "Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables that can contribute to a better long-term diet through frequent exposures."
Lead was most commonly found in metals and was found in 94 percent of the tested baby food. Cadmium and arsenic followed and occurred in about three quarters of the tested baby food. Mercury was the least widely used product and was found in about one-third of the baby food tested. All metals except mercury are known to be potent human carcinogens.
The four metals are also neurotoxic and can seriously endanger a child's brain development. And while many factors can contribute to the IQ of a child – from nutrition and genetics to environmental toxins such as heavy metals – the levels of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead present in baby food are "both a significant and a solvable problem" it in the report.
"Even in the trace amounts found in baby food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and undermine a child's IQ," the report continues. "The effects add up to every meal or snack a baby eats."
A data analysis also commissioned by HBBF found that children aged 0 to 24 months already lost more than 11 million IQ points due to exposure to arsenic and arsenic lead in Essen. Only 15 foods account for more than half of this IQ loss, with rice foods alone accounting for 20 percent.
Other effects of heavy metal exposure include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning and learning disorders.
The results underlined that the problem remains unresolved, although the reports of heavy metals in baby food cover nearly a decade.
In order to reduce the level of heavy metals in baby food, the FDA should recommend setting prescriptions in the report. For nearly 90 percent of the tested baby food, the FDA has not set any standards for the maximum safety of heavy medals.
The researchers also recommended that the FDA conduct a testing program for heavy metals in foods consumed by infants and toddlers. In particular, the AAP recommends that all children aged six months, nine months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, and at the age of three, four, five and six years receive a risk assessment. If the risk assessment is positive, AAP recommends performing a blood lead test.
Dr. Jelinek praised the study to draw attention to the problem of screening for such toxins.
"Lead exposure is an avoidable threat to children's neurocognitive development of lead exposure," he said.
Joseph Neese contributed to this report.