A new study into what babies in the United States eat may have parents asking what is safe anymore.
Researchers examined 168 baby foods made by companies in the U.S. The tests found that 95% of them contained lead, 73% had arsenic, 75% had cadmium and 32% had mercury, CNN reported.
The report was compiled by Healthy Babies Bright Futures and was released Thursday. The group is focused on removing toxic chemicals that it says can impact brain development.
A study in 2004 found that high levels of arsenic in children's urine in Bangladesh corresponded to a decrease in IQ for children between the ages of 5 and 15, CNN reported. The arsenic came from drinking water.
What was more concerning, a quarter of the foods, or about 42 of them, had all four of the heavy metals, CNN reported.
A fifth of the tested foods had 10 times the 1-parts per billion (ppb) of lead public health advocates allow, the report found. But they say no amount of lead is safe.
The results are similar to a Food and Drug Administration study that found the same four metals in 33 of 39 baby foods, CNN reported.
Rice-based foods for infants like rice cereal and rice snacks were found to be the most toxic.
The report said they have inorganic arsenic and can be contaminated with other toxic metals.
So how can parents make sure to limit the amount of heavy metals their children consume?
Experts said exchange rice-based foods with other items, CNN reported.
Instead of puffed snacks made of rice, look for ones that aren't.
Teething biscuits can be exchanged for frozen banana or chilled cucumbers or even a wet washcloth.
Rice cereal can be changed to multi-grain or oatmeal-based cereals.
Water can be served instead of fruit juice.
Carrots and sweet potatoes can be changed to many other fruits and veggies.
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