There has been a new investigation that has found certain leading baby foods contain high levels of heavy metals. In fact, some manufacturers have reported that their food packs have well above the acceptable levels of up to 9 ppb. It is no wonder new parents are concerned and confused about what this all means. Questions like; what are heavy metals? Why are they considered harmful? What happened in baby food factories to cause this phenomenon, are definitely circulating among parents.
Metallic Elements Present in Baby Food
Parents need to know that heavy metals are metallic elements that are considered heavy due to their high atomic weights. The term refers to elements like lead and mercury which can damage plants and animals if presented in large quantities. Most recently in baby food, high concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury were all found in baby food. What makes these metals harmful to the body is when they accumulate in large amounts. This presence is considered a risk factor for diseases like cancer and poisoning. Even the heavy metals your body needs, like iron, can become harmful in large quantities.
For babies and children that receive the same levels as their counterpart adults, the materials will make a bigger impact inside their small bodies. This raises reasoning for the next question on how did these heavy metals make their way into baby food?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, who regulate how many metals are allowed in baby food, there is no limit. That may sound absolutely preposterous but it both is and isn’t. It is the duty of the FDA to monitor levels of heavy metals even when there isn’t a set limit. There have been sampling assignments conducted in response to these reports of high levels of toxic metals. The FDA has also been known to use a buyer beware approach for mercury levels found in seafood too. As the research continues, it has become more evident that pregnant, nursing mothers and infants who consume too much of these metals will impact the growth and development of infant brains and bodies.
The best and most effective way to avoid heavy metals? Start by steering clear of the brands that are known for heavy metals in baby food. Research and find reputable baby food brands not on the congressional report. Baby foods that are tested prior to purchasing are one of the safest ways to ensure its quality.
Reducing Lead Exposure
If a baby food brand blames the soil for the high level of metals found in their product, you can take matters into your own hands. Follow the recommendations below for reducing lead exposure too:
- Locate gardens away from old painted structures and heavily travelled roads
- Give planting preferences to fruiting crops like tomatoes, squash, peas, sunflowers and corn
- Incorporate organic materials like hummus and peat moss
- Wash hands immediately after gardening and prior to eating
- Discard outer leaves before eating leafy vegetables and wash all produce
- Protect the garden from airborne particulates using a fence or hedge
- Keep dust in the garden to a minimum
Even though these are guidelines, be aware that crops naturally accumulate and concentrate lead, so don’t rely solely on these rules to ensure safe produce all the time. It is the hope that more time and effort will go into ensuring baby food is safe to consume because a firm limit on heavy metals in food will lead to better outcomes for children. Baby food should conform to firm limits set on bottled drinking water and an effective structure of testing to ensure companies are compliant.
Contact Kwartler Manus Today
Was your baby sickened or injured by the baby food they ate? If the baby food you fed your child contained heavy amounts of metals or lead, it’s time to discuss your case with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Call the office of Kwartler Manus at 267-457-5570 to schedule a consultation.