Action is needed now to lower the content of aluminium in infant formulas

New research from Keele University shows that infant formulas are still heavily contaminated with aluminium.

In 2010 the group at Keele, headed by Professor Chris Exley, published a paper showing that the aluminium content of infant formulas was too high.

The Keele group has now followed up this research with an even more extensive study looking at the 30 most popular brands of in the United Kingdom.

The results show high levels of aluminium in each of the 30 infant formulas.

In the publication the aluminium content of the infant formulas are listed from lowest to highest so that parents might choose to use a product with the lowest content of aluminium.

Professor Exley said: "Clearly the manufacturers of infant formulas are not concerned about reducing their content of aluminium and the extensive use of aluminium-based packaging for infant formulas seems to confirm this.

"There are no adequate criteria upon which to base a safety level for aluminium in infant formulas and for this reason it would be sensible to take action to reduce the level of aluminium to a lowest practicable level.

"Since manufacturers are not willing to address the aluminium content of infant formulas it must now be time for the government, through the Food Standards Agency, to provide guidance on this matter and to indicate a maximum allowable concentration, for example, 50 ppb (50 mg/L) aluminium in the product at point of use, as a precautionary step to protect infants against chronic intoxication during the earliest weeks, months and years of their lives."

The new paper is published by BMC Pediatrics.

More information: Chuchu, N. et al. The aluminium content of infant formulas remains too high, BMC Pediatrics, 2013, 13:162.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2431-13-162

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