Heavy Metals in Baby Foods and Fruit Juices
A Resource for Families
Reports of heavy metals in baby foods and fruit juices have been featured in news headlines across the United States, leaving families concerned about the health and safety of their children. This document includes useful information on heavy metals in food and drinks as well as ways to reduce your family’s exposure.
Summary of Key Points posted on Mar 21, 2022
What is a heavy metal? posted on Mar 21, 2022
Why are heavy metals found in some baby foods & fruit juices? posted on Mar 21, 2022
How can heavy metals affect brain development in children? posted on Mar 21, 2022
What are simple steps to reduce a child’s exposure to heavy metals? posted on Mar 21, 2022
What is being done to reduce heavy metals in baby foods & fruit juices? posted on Mar 21, 2022
My child has eaten some of the products that contain metals. Should I have my child tested for heavy metals? posted on Mar 21, 2022
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Additional Resources for Families
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Heavy Metals in Baby Food11
Information on the risks of heavy metals and guidance on how to avoid them.
- Consumer Reports: What parents should know, and can do right now, to keep their kids safe12
Information on heavy metals and a guide to safer alternatives for parents.
- Mercury and Your Health | ATSDR. www.atsdr.cdc.gov. Published November 16, 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mercury/index.html
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Advice about eating fish. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish. Published October 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Tips to reduce arsenic in your baby's Diet. HealthyChildren.org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/reducearsenic.aspx. Published September 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Arsenic and drinking water from private wells. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/arsenic.html. Published July 1, 2015. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know. (Moon RY, ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2013.
- Which Rice Has the Least Arsenic? Consumer Reports' new data and guidelines are important for everyone but especially for gluten avoiders. Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-yourrice/index.htm#rules. Published November 2014. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. FDA response to questions about levels of toxic elements in Baby Food. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/cfsanconstituent-updates/fda-response-questions-about-levels-toxic-elements-baby-food-followingcongressional-report. Published February 16, 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Baby Food Standard. FoodChain ID. https://www.foodchainid.com/babyfoodstandard/. Published 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Sample JA, Zajac L. Blood lead levels in children: What parents need to know. HealthyChildren.org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Blood-Lead-Levels-in-Children-What-Parents-Need-to-Know.aspx. Published December 21, 2021. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Healthy Babies Bright Futures. https://www.hbbf.org/. Accessed March 15, 2022.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Heavy metals in Baby Food. HealthyChildren.org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Metals-in-Baby-Food.aspx. Published 2021. Accessed March 15, 2022.
- Branch J. Most Baby Foods contain arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals, study finds. Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/most-baby-foods-contain-arsenic-lead-andother-heavy-metals/. Published September 29, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2022.
The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) are supported by cooperative agreement FAIN: NU61TS000296 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides support through Inter-Agency Agreement DW-75-95877701 with CDC/ATSDR. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the PEHSUs as the National Program Office. The content on this website has not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR or the EPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Use of trade names that may be mentioned is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC/ATSDR or EPA.
The information contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your/your child’s primary care provider. There may be variations in treatment that your provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Created: March 2022