In 2019, an organization called Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) published an alarming report for parents. After testing 168 baby foods, the organization found that 95% of them contained heavy metals that are particularly harmful to infants and young children's developmental process.
This report prompted the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, a branch of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, to investigate heavy metal contamination levels in popular baby foods.
The results are shocking.
The subcommittee determined that popular brands of baby food weren’t just contaminated by arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury—it discovered that they contained levels of the metals that were many times higher than regulatory bodies consider acceptable. Even worse, the food companies' internal documents reveal that the companies knowingly sold these dangerous food products to parents.
To find out more about this baby food contaminated with toxic metals, read our blog about the subject.
Why Heavy Metals Are in Baby Foods
Heavy metals are in nearly every type of food thanks to pollution in the environment it is produced in. Pesticides, contaminated fertilizers, airborne contaminants, and nearby industrial operations can cause food to contain elevated levels of toxic metals. This means that crops grown in certain areas or with specific products are more susceptible to being dangerous.
Since heavy metals in food are unavoidable, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agencies provide guidelines to help food producers make sure their products don’t contain dangerous levels of toxins.
Choices to Help Keep Your Baby Safe from Dangerous Metals
Notably, foods such as leafy greens, rice, carrots, potatoes, and root crops can retain more harmful metals than other types of crops. Because many popular baby foods contain products that favor these potentially harmful ingredients, the HBBF has created a set of five guidelines to help parents choose safer alternatives to popular types of baby foods. Remember that all foods contain some levels of toxic heavy metals—these options can help you significantly reduce your child’s exposure to them.
Skip Rice-Based Puff Snacks
One of the most popular snacks on the market for children are rice-based puff snacks. The HBBF suggests choosing rice-free products as their metal levels can be 93% lower.
Use Homemade Alternatives to Teething Biscuits & Rice Husks
While teething foods can help you and your child get through their most uncomfortable moments, many store-bought products have high levels of toxic heavy metals. Simple, soothing foods such as frozen bananas and chilled cucumbers can be a simple homemade alternative to premade teething foods. Doing so can help reduce metal exposure by 91%.
Avoid Cereals Produced from Rice
Many people love giving their children cereal. Besides being a simple snack, spreading out cereal in front of a baby can help them develop motor skills while keeping them full and happy. When buying cereal for your child, opt for multi-grain or oatmeal products. This can result in an 84% reduction in heavy metal exposure for your child.
Not only do some fruits retain toxic metal more than other foods, how they’re processed can affect their levels. Giving your child water instead of fruit juice can help reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals by 68%.
Puree Food at Home
Many popular baby purees contain carrots and sweet potatoes—two foods that are incredibly likely to retain contaminants from the environment they’re grown in. Instead, puree your own foods with a mixture of fruits and veggies. While you don’t need to completely cut out carrots and sweet potatoes, making sure your child has a variety of foods can reduce their exposure to heavy metals by up to 73%.
Was Your Child Harmed by Dangerous Baby Food? Call (888) 493-1629 Today.
If you believe your child has suffered because of exposure to hazardous substances in baby food, call Arnold & Itkin LLP today. Our baby food injury law firm is ready to fight for the answers your family deserves. No baby should have their life changed because of a careless company, and we’re ready to demand accountability on your behalf.
Call our baby food heavy metal law firm today at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation that’ll help you decide what steps to take next.