The results of the study were made public by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which conducted the report (pdf) in partnership with a number of groups such as the Learning Disabilities Association of America and the Campaign for Healthier Solutions.
Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) tested 168 baby foods and found toxic heavy metals in 95 percent of all containers tested.
A quarter of the foods tested contained all four of the metals that the lab tested for—arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
“Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ,” the report authors, HBBF’s Jane Houlihan and Charlotte Brody, wrote. “The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats.”
The tested products were obtained from stores across the nation. Rice dishes were found to be the most toxic, with arsenic the primary toxic metal of concern, followed by whole milk, white and brown rice, and apple juice. Infant formula was next, the primary toxic metal of concern being lead.
The report authors suggested parents avoid puffs and other snacks made with rice flour and switch to alternatives that are rich in nutrients and low in metals, such as apples, unsweetened applesauce, barley with diced vegetables, and grapes cut in half.
They also suggested avoiding teething biscuits, rice rusks, infant rice cereals, and fruit juices.
Instead of juice, parents can give their children tap water or whole or pureed fruits.