Many Baby Foods Contain Brain-Harming Heavy Metals: Study

THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many baby foods contain toxic heavy metals that can harm brain development, according to test results released Thursday by a group called Healthy Babies Bright Futures.

Analyses of 168 baby foods from major U.S. manufacturers showed that 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury, while one-fourth contained all four heavy metals, CNN reported.

One in five had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, but no level of lead is considered safe.

Baby foods that posed the greatest risk to brain development were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, CNN reported.

"Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child's IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats," according to the group of scientists, nonprofits and donors trying to reduce neurotoxic chemical exposure early in life.

A previous U.S. Food and Drug Administration study detected one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested, CNN reported.

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