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Soonchunhyang University research team analyzed 288 baby food samples… “National level environmental management is important”

“Even mom’s baby food contains lead and mercury.”

“Even mom’s baby food contains lead and mercury.”

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Gil-won = Heavy metals lead and mercury are toxic substances that can pose serious health risks when accumulated in the human body.

In particular, various studies have confirmed that it affects the development of diseases such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neurodevelopmental disorders, and growth retardation in children, including infants.

Accordingly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies lead as a probable carcinogen (2A) and mercury as a possible carcinogen (2B) and urges caution in exposure.

However, experts point out that since these heavy metals are not intentionally added to food but rather are contaminated through soil, water, and air in the natural environment, there is a limit to reducing exposure through individual efforts alone.

In fact, research results in Korea have shown that mothers can be exposed to these heavy metals through baby food cooked at home to feed to their children.

The research team of Professor Park Jeong-im and Dr. Lee A-ram of the Department of Environmental Health at Soonchunhyang University announced on the 21st that exposure to such heavy metals was confirmed as a result of analyzing baby food samples consumed by 157 infants aged 6 to 27 months.

The results of this study were published in the latest issue of Science of the Total Environment, an international journal in the field of environmental science.

The research team measured the concentrations of lead and mercury in a total of 288 baby food samples. All of these baby foods were made by mothers at home.

As a result, lead and mercury were detected in 65% and 88% of all baby food samples, respectively.

In the case of lead, the maximum detection amount reached 169ng/g, and 58% of the total lead was analyzed to exceed the commercial baby food standard of 10ng/g.

Based on the results of this analysis, the research team estimated that the average daily lead intake of the infants and children surveyed amounted to 0.29㎍/kg.

Although this is lower than the toxicity reference value (0.50㎍/kg) established based on neurotoxicity, the research team’s analysis is that it is not a safe level for the health of infants and young children.

On the other hand, in the case of mercury, 6% of all baby foods were evaluated to exceed the risk index compared to the allowable weekly intake (4㎍/kg) set by the WHO.

Detected amounts of lead and mercury (right) and estimated intake rates (right)

The research team attached significance to the fact that it was the first to evaluate the intake of heavy metals such as lead and mercury through homemade baby food in Korean infants and young children.

Dr. Lee A-ram explained, “This study showed that heavy metals can be introduced even through limited food ingredients such as baby food eaten by children. This possibility can be seen as greater in age groups where food becomes more diverse.”

However, the research team pointed out that since the biggest cause of heavy metal exposure through baby food is pollution in the natural environment, the community and country must step up and strengthen environmental management to reduce heavy metal exposure to infants and young children.

Professor Park Jeong-im said, “Heavy metals and trace elements are not intentionally added to food, but are major environmental pollutants that are widely distributed in soil, water, and air, and then contaminate food ingredients grown in these environments.” “Unlike added phthalates, insecticides, and pesticides, there are limits to reducing exposure through individual efforts, so national policy must take priority,” he emphasized.

bio@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/21 06:11 Sent

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