How much radioactivity is in infant formula?
Based on measurements of radioactivity in samples of infant formula manufactured and sold around the world, researchers estimate that infants 1 year of age or younger who consume these formulas would ingest a significantly higher radioactivity dose than reported levels, but lower than internationally recommended limits. The researchers report the radioactivity levels for each brand of formula in an article published in Environmental Engineering Science.
In "Measurement of Natural and Artificial Radioactivity in Infant's Powdered Milk and Estimation of the Corresponding Annual Effective Dose," Onoshohwo Bemigho Uwatse and coauthors, University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), University of Surrey (U.K.), and King Saud University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), determined the levels of radioactive radium, potassium, radium, and thorium in 14 brands of powdered infant milk prepared and sold in various regions around the world. Levels of radioactivity in the formula may vary depending on several factors including radioactivity in the soil, grass, or hay from which the cows were fed, in other raw materials used in processing the formula, or due to processing conditions.
"This paper focuses on a topic that has not drawn significant attention but, nonetheless, has important health implications," says Domenico Grasso, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Engineering Science and Provost, University of Delaware.