A new study identifies a common baby food as having dangerous levels of arsenic.
An alarming new study has found that infants are at risk of arsenic from a pretty common food.
Infants that ate rice products had higher arsenic levels than other babies, researchers in New Hampshire found in the study, according to a statement from JAMA Network Journals.
The researchers tracked hundreds of babies and their eating habits, finding the highest arsenic levels in the urine of infants who ate cereal derived from rice products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tested dozens of samples of rie samples and found they often contain inorganic arsenic. This latest study may provide the basis for further research into the long-term health effects of these elevated arsenic levels.
Rice is a common first food for babies. Rice grains often pull in arsenic from the surrounding environment, and U.S. rice tends to have some of the highest concentrations of arsenic in the world.
The research team studied 759 infants, and tracked how much rice products they consumed at four, eight and 12 months of age. About 80 percent of children ate some rice cereal by age one.
“Study results indicated that based on 129 urine samples at 12 months, arsenic concentrations were higher among infants who ate rice or foods mixed with rice compared with infants who ate no rice,” the statement reads. “Also, total urinary arsenic concentrations were twice as high among infants who ate white or brown rice compared with those who ate no rice. The highest urinary arsenic concentrations were seen among infants who ate baby rice cereal; urinary arsenic concentrations were nearly double for those who ate rice snacks compared with infants who ate no rice, according to the study.”