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Exposure of cadmium from infant formulas and weaning foods

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Cadmium levels were determined in 59 baby food samples, including milk-based, cereal and milk-based and soy-based formulas, recommended from 0 to 18 months of age. Determinations were performed by Zeeman graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry, after dry ashing, with parallel determinations of certified reference samples. Mean cadmium levels were found to range from 1.10 to 23.5 mu g / kg fresh weight concentrated formulas. L evels were related to the composition of the diets. Formulas based on cow's milk had the lowest concentrations. Soy formulas contained approximately six times more cadmium than cow's milk formulas, and diets with a cereal content had 4-21 times higher mean levels. The mean weekly intakes of dietary cadmium were estimated to vary between 0.10 and 3 : 05 mu g / kg body weight of the child, if the recommended amount of formula were to be consumed at the recommended age, and if the child were of average weight. This estimation however does not include the contribution of cadmium from drinking water. The highest intake on a body weight basis was found in 6-month-old children, consuming the recommended amount of wheat-, oat- and milk-based formulas. This intake is below the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTW I) of 7 mu g / kg body weight, established by a W HO/FAO expert group. However, the risk assessment is based on renal effects in adults. Furthermore, preparations of a formula by adding water with cadmium concentrations at the W HO guideline level could lead to intakes at the PTW I level. Compared to breast-fed children, the exposure of dietary cadmium from weaning diets can be up to 12 times higher in children fed infant formula.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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