Baby Food Could Be Contaminated With Heavy Metals, Latest Studies Show

In Education

Researchers from Michigan State University have issued a serious warning about the presence of cancer-causing heavy metals in children’s foods. Two recent studies emphasize the link between these metals in food and severe health conditions, highlighting the pressing nature of the issue.

Baby food such as puree pouches contaminated with lead

Recent studies highlight alarming discoveries, such as the 2021 US Congressional Report revealing elevated metal levels in baby food and similar findings in infant’s fruit puree pouches. For instance, a study conducted a thorough assessment of health risks linked to dietary exposure to cadmium, arsenic and lead. The heavy metals are commonly absorbed by food crops from polluted sources like soil, air, and water, and can be found in everyday foods such as vegetables, nuts, rice, and cereals

It is important to note that lead which is found in contaminated soil and old paint can pose a moderate-to-high risk for different cancers like brain, kidney, and lung in addition to other non-cancer health effects. Additionally, arsenic which is common in rice, vegetables and rice can have comparable risk levels for liver, skin, kidney, bladder and lung cancers alongside other non-cancer risks like neurological effects and cardiovascular risk. Also, cadmium which is present in nuts, seeds, potatoes, and vegetables can increase risks of breast, renal and prostate cancers alongside other neurological and renal health effects.

Inorganic exposure to arsenic increases risk of bladder, lung and skin cancer

The second study quantitatively assessed cancer risks associated with inorganic arsenic exposure, indicating potential increases in skin, lung, and bladder cancer cases in the U.S. due to the consumption of inorganic arsenic through foods such as leafy green vegetables, wheat, and rice. The results underscore the significance for food safety regulations, public health policies, and consumer awareness, as stated by study author Felicia Wu, a food scientist from Michigan State University and incoming president of the Society for Risk Analysis.

The use of data from diverse sources, such as food and water samples, along with the utilization of quantitative cancer risk assessment models, has played a crucial role in comprehending the extent of this public health concern.

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