CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION OF INFANT FEEDING PRODUCTS
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Research studies point to a growing list of potentially harmful substances that have been measured in formula, and to increasing levels of formula contamination by arsenic, aluminium, toxic metals and certain trace elements. These result from the chemical contamination of the environment of our planet - the air we breathe, the soil we cultivate and the water we use. IBFAN is campaigning for full disclosure of all the ingredients in baby formulas, milks and foods, including Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals as well as toxic elements such as aluminium and arsenic. Manufacturers must indicate the levels of contamination of formulas and foods by these toxic substances, so that parents, care-givers and health professionals can take informed decisions about infant feeding, free from commercial promotion based on distortion or omission of vital information.

 

  • High levels of arsenic found in baby formulas - but breastfeeding protects infants from exposure to arsenic

Arsenic is a poisonous element with multiple adverse effects on human bodies:  “Arsenic is a carcinogen that can also affect the cardiac, respiratory, neurological and immune systems. Children have higher dietary arsenic exposure than adults owing to their more restricted diets and greater intake per unit body mass.” Contribution of breast milk and formula to arsenic exposure during the first year of life in a US prospective cohort.

This research in the USA was published in 2016 and compared the contribution to arsenic exposure of formula feeding and breastfeeding. Although the researchers noted that population-wide arsenic exposures measured at 4, 8 and 12 months of age were relatively low, formula-fed infants had higher exposures: “At all three time points, exclusively formula-fed infants had geometric mean arsenic exposures ~ 8 times higher than exclusively breastfed infants owing to arsenic in both tap water and formula powder.”  Read more...