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Beware! Toxic Metals in Baby Foods may Damage Brain Development

Toxic metals are found in baby foods, say Healthy Babies Bright Futures Foundation, researchers.

Baby foods contain a varying proportion of lead, mercury, cadmium or arsenic says the study. About 168 baby foods were tested of which almost 95 percent had lead. 73 percent had arsenic and 75 percent had cadmium. 25 percent had all the heavy metals in them.

When seven kinds of rice cereal were analyzed, four of them contained toxic arsenic content that was higher than the proposed level approved by the FDA.

HBBF National Director Charlotte Brody who has authored the study reports that heavy metals in the baby foods interfere with brain activities.

The FDA has to interfere and take steps to protect babies, says Brody. There is no maximum safe limit set for heavy metals in almost 90 percent of baby foods, she adds.

When baby foods were tested, it was found that the most prevalent heavy metal was lead, which was found in 95 percent of baby foods. Lead may alter the brain development of a child, says the study.

Though toxic metals have been banned, they are still found in large quantities in the soil and water as well as in baby foods, say reports.

Fruit juices, sweet potatoes, and rice-based products face a high risk of harmful content in them, says the research. The first few months of a child are important and at this tender phase, they should not be exposed to neurotoxic chemicals, says the study.

A 2012 study has shown that brown rice sweeteners are used in organic food that has a high concentration of arsenic.

Tanya Altmann a pediatrician says that the best food for babies and infants is pureed veggies, avocado, salmon and peanut-butter oatmeal. They have important nutrients that a baby requires especially in its infant stage. They help in brain development, bring down food allergies and help to develop taste buds.

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