Inorganic arsenic | Lead | Cadmium | Mercury

The FDA has set the maximum safe level of arsenic in food or water at 10 parts per billion (ppb). Testing found that Earth’s Best brand of baby food (manufactured by Hain Celestial Group, Inc.) contained arsenic at 129 ppb—this is 13 times the level considered safe by the FDA.

Linking Mercury and Autism

Mercury is linked to adverse subsequent neuro-development (ASD), poorer estimated IQ, positive association with autistic behaviors among preschool children.

A Korean Study published in 2014 found that environmental exposure to mercury during early infancy caused a twofold increase in the risk of developing autism. Prenatal exposure consistently associated with adverse neurodevelopment and poorer estimated IQ. Higher levels at 2 to 3 positively associated with autistic behaviors.

Linking Arsenic and Autism

  • In 2019, researchers at the University of Buffalo concluded that there is consistent evidence supporting a positive association between early life inorganic arsenic exposure and autism diagnosis.
  • Arsenic is the #1 environmental substance that poses significant health risks (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry—ATSDR)
  • Damaging effects on central nervous system and cognitive development in children.
  • Studies conclude arsenic exposure has a “significant negative impact on neurodevelopment in children.”
  • Additional Risks of Exposure:
    • Respiratory
    • Gastrointestinal
    • Hematological/Blood
    • Hepatic/Liver
    • Renal/Kidney
    • Neurological
    • Immunological

Arsenic is linked to bladder and lung cancer; damage to the central nervous system, brain development, and cognitive development; immunological effects; lower IQ (specifically verbal, performance and memory); ASD; decrease in global motor, gross motor, and fine motor functioning.

Linking Cadmium and Mercury to Autism

In 2020, researchers at the State University of New York found a similar connection between autism and exposure to cadmium and mercury. Cadmium is associated with decreases in IQ (especially in full-scale IQ among boys), and development of ASD and ADHD.

Universal Agreement on Lead in Baby Food

Lead is a heavy metal that is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen. It is readily absorbed into body tissue and is hard to expel. Lead is linked to behavioral problems; ASD; decreased cognitive performance; delayed puberty; reduced postnatal growth; damage to central nervous system and brain development; adverse effects on academic achievement; lower reading and math scores; significant association with ADHD.

What is a safe level of lead for a baby?

There is no safe level of lead exposure in children. This position is supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This toxic metal also has an extended half-live, which gives it time to do even greater damage. The half-life of leads lasts for up to 30 years in the child’s bones.

Neurological effects from high lead exposure during early childhood

  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioral difficulties
  • Lowered IQ

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