Study finds heavy metals in popular baby food brands

Dan Snyder would do anything for his son Austin.

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So when he found out his son’s baby food was listed on Consumer Reports’ heavy metals list, he was concerned.

“We were shocked to see how many baby foods out there that are on the market that have these items in there,” he said.

Those items are lead, mercury, cadmium and inorganic arsenic, according to the Consumer Reports study.

They tested 50 products from popular brands, including Gerber and Earth’s Best. Thirty-four came back with concerning levels of heavy metals.

“Once you ingest a metal and absorb it, it lingers,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, a poison control specialist. “It stays for long periods of time.”

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The impact of heavy metals on your child’s health is low, but long-term exposure can cause developmental issues and bladder, lung and skin cancers, according to Lynch.

News Center 7 worked with our Cox Media Group partner in Pittsburgh and tested baby food samples from the grocery store and from Snyder’s home.

We took Earth’s Best whole gran oatmeal cereal to the Test America lab in Pittsburgh and got the results a week later.

“Lead, cadmium and mercury, I’m glad they’re not here,” said Lynch. “The arsenic level was right at where they report it, saying we found it and we think it’s adequate enough to report back to you.”

Lynch said the presence of arsenic can happen in rice and oat products. It can be naturally occurring and not a health risk.

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But Snyder said he isn’t taking any chances.

“I know exactly what’s in his food, because I am making it,” he said.

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