(WAND) – A new study found that 95 percent of baby foods contain toxic metals, including arsenic and lead.
According to Healthybabyfood.org, the toxins can permanently alter the developing brain, erode IQ and affect behavior.
Over 160 baby foods from major producers in the U.S. were tested. About 95 percent contained lead, 73 percent contained arsenic, 75 percent contained cadmium and 32 percent contained mercury.
One in five of the foods tested had over 10 times the ppb limit of lead. The foods with the highest levels were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices.
The tests were done by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which is a nonprofit organization that tries to reduce exposer to neurotoxic chemicals for infants.
These metals are found in all foods, according to the study.
“They occur naturally or from pollution in the environment. Crops absorb them from soil and water, and they are even found in organic food. Their presence in baby food raises unique concern, because babies are more sensitive to the toxic impacts,” the study said.
For now, the study suggests that parents swap out rice cereals and snacks for safer alternatives. They suggest oatmeal and multigrain cereals and rice-free packages snacks. They also suggest parents to avoid giving their children sugary drinks, since many fruit juices contain some lead and arsenic.