You may be feeding your baby rocket fuel and not know it.
The CDC has tested several samples of infant formula and found traces of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel. If the powdered formula was also mixed with water also contaminated with perchlorate, it could exceed levels considered safe for adults.
“No tests have ever shown the chemical caused health problems, but scientists have said significant amounts of perchlorate can affect thyroid function. The thyroid helps set the body’s metabolism. Thyroid problems can impact fetal and infant brain development.”
The brands of formula tested were not released.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was considering setting new limits on the amount of perchlorate that would be acceptable in drinking water. A few states have already set their own limits.
The EPA has checked nearly 4,000 public water supplies serving 10,000 people or more. About 160 of the water systems had detectable levels of perchlorate, and 31 had levels high enough to exceed a new safety level the EPA is considering.
This is just really sad. I breastfeed, so I don’t have to worry about the formula contamination, but I have friends who formula feed, and this is a stress they don’t need on their plate. I do worry about the water contamination. I don’t really want to be drinking rocket fuel, even if at a “safe” level. Just like I
What can you do?
- Don’t freak out and don’t stop giving your baby formula
- Breastfeed if you can
- Since the brands tested were not disclosed, choosing a different formula is not helpful (and you should consult your pediatrician before doing so in any case).
- Install a water filtration system capable of removing perchlorate for use of mixing with formula (and drinking of course!)
- If you do a little homework, you can probably find bottled water that has used one of the above methods. But note: Not all bottled water is the same! Several manufacturers simply bottle filtered tap water. Know what you are buying.
- Since the food we eat could be irrigated with water contaminated with perchlorate, buy produce from areas that do not use contaminated water to irrigate.
Check this table for areas contaminated with perchlorate
And a map from the EPA
And sites known to manufacturer or use perchlorate
- And write letters – write letters to your congressmen, formula manufacturers, the FDA, the president – anyone who could have influence. Let them know rocket fuel in formula and in drinking water is not acceptable.
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