Dangerous Chemicals Hiding in Your Baby’s Food
As a parent, you want only the best for your baby as they grow and you take special care to make sure they have everything they need. Parents start before their babies are born getting the nursery set up with just the right crib and other furniture, taking care to wash all bedding and clothing is special detergents that won't irritate their babies delicate skin, and sterilizing bottles to make sure their babies aren't' ingesting anything they shouldn't. Parents carry handy wipes and hand sanitizer and are vigilant about what their babies put in their mouths, and most parents assume the food they are buying for their babies is safe as well. It should be a safe assumption that the premade baby foods and formulas that are sold in stores are safe and toxic free right? Unfortunately, that is wrong. Many baby foods contain toxic ingredients and most parents are unaware so it is important to carefully choose the foods you are going to feed your baby and check ingredients carefully as well as do your own research. Below is a list of dangerous chemicals that have been found in baby food.
Arsenic in Baby Formula
Arsenic is a natural semi-metallic chemical that is found all over the world in groundwater and ingesting large amounts of arsenic can lead to arsenic poisoning which can have major health complications up to and including death. Studies have shown that 65% of baby foods contained arsenic.
Lead in Baby Formula
Lead is a naturally occurring element that can be found in the environment and while it has beneficial uses it is toxic to animals and humans. While federal and state regulatory standards have helped reduce the amount of lead, it can still enter the environment through industrial sources and vehicles where it can enter the air, water, soil, and consumer products. Studies have shown that 36% of baby foods contain lead.
Cadmium in Baby Formula
Cadmium is a naturally occurring element that can be found in the earth's crust as well as in minuscule amounts in rocks and soil and is toxic to humans. It is used in industrial products because it does not corrode making it useful for batteries, pigments, and stabilizer for plastics. Cadmium is a known carcinogen and chronic exposure even in small amounts can cause serious health issues including kidney problems, and bone softening. Studies show that 58% of baby foods contained cadmium.
Acrylamide in Baby Formula
Acrylamide is a chemical compound that can be found in many foods when they are exposed to high heat like breads and grilled meat as well as in other foods such as asparagus, dried fruit, and even crackers. Acrylamide can cause cancer and some states like California require restaurants, stores, and even schools to post warnings if they have products that contain potential carcinogens. Studies show that 10% of baby food contained acrylamide.
It is alarming to know that 80% of baby formula and foods contain ingredients that are toxic to children and can cause serious development and health issues. Parents take such care to ensure that their baby is getting the proper care they need and assume that the formula and food they are buying is safe for their babies to eat. While we cannot control everything in our baby's environment the one thing parents can control is the food they buy and feed to their babies. Luckily there are companies who produce organic baby formula and foods to help ensure that your baby is getting food that is grown without added chemicals and pesticides or growth hormones. One would think that governments would keep better track of toxins that are found in foods especially in foods that are fed to babies. Babies are developing at amazing rates especially in their first year of life, so exposing these young and developing babies to harmful and toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead seems almost inhumane. While many of these toxins occur in nature it is important to monitor the foods you are buying and feeding your babies and make sure to read the ingredients and do research to make sure you are not feeding your baby one of the 80% of baby formula and foods on the market that contain these harmful toxins.
- Jennifer Akiyama