You’ve probably heard that lead has been found in drinking water, that certain kinds of fish contain high levels of mercury, and that worrisome amounts of arsenic have been found in rice. But you may not know why that’s a problem-or that these elements (and others, such as lead and cadmium), commonly known as “heavy metals,” are also in many other foods. This includes foods made just for babies and toddlers, such as popular snacks, cereals, prepared entrées, and packaged fruits and vegetables.
Over time, exposure to heavy metals can harm the health of adults and children. One of the biggest worries: cognitive development in very young children.
“Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size and developing brains and organ systems,” says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports. “They also absorb more of the heavy metals that get into their bodies than adults do.”
Issue: 11 Volume: 12