Test Tubes that say Heavy Metal Test

Are There Heavy Metals in Baby Formula?

Families will do all they can to ensure their baby grows happy and healthy. We know every detail is essential, from the care and keeping of newborns to ensure they get the best possible nutrition.

When researching the best options, it can be significantly disconcerting to read a worrisome headline telling you that baby formula may contain some alarming levels of heavy metalTo understand why this issue is urgently essential, we must understand what heavy metals are and why they are harmful.

This article will cover all the critical information about heavy metals in baby formula, the specific findings of metals in baby foods, and what you can do to avoid them.

Table of Contents

Are Heavy Metal in Baby Formula Dangerous

Heavy metals are a broad category; however, for our purposes, we will define them as a group of elements that can be toxic to the human body, especially in large, unknown, and unlisted amounts. 

Cognitive Dangers

Toxic metal exposure can be harmful to the developing brain. Research has shown associations between low dose, heavy metal exposure, and problems with neurocognitive development.

Periodic Table Lead

Physical Dangers

Your little ones’ bodies need heavy metals (like iron and zinc) to work well. Other heavy metals (like arsenic and lead) and even “good heavy metal in substantial amounts can build up in the body over time and cause problems with bone growth, learning, behavior, and attention.

Concerns of Heavy Metals on Child Development 

Effects of Heavy Metals on Infant Development

Where Do Heavy Metals in Baby Formulas Come From?

All metals originate on the earth. They can enter the environment and agricultural soil through many routes and, from there, can source into baby formula.

Heavy metals are found naturally in all soil and the world around. Without proper regulations, these toxins go unfiltered and can be picked up in increasing amounts during soil fertilization, animal care, and manufacturing.

Heavy Metals in Baby Formula

Families should be aware of four primary toxic heavy metals in US baby formula. Parents should be especially aware of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury because of their availability and potential effects on their baby's health and development.


Lead is one of the first heavy metals identified as neurotoxic; as such, we know that absorption of lead poses severe implications to public health and is especially dangerous when ingested by infants.

Some chronic effects of lead poisoning in babies are colic, constipation, and anemia. Fetal neuro-developmental products and reduced learning capacity in children are among the most severe impacts.

One critical study showed that over 30 percent of infant formulas and baby foods in the U.S. had detectable levels of lead.


When ingested, the risks include lung and bone diseases, and cancer. Even trace amounts regularly given in baby formulas can cause health troubles later in life, including acute kidney failure.


Prolonged exposure to toxic levels of mercury may cause severe nerve damage. Mercury poisoning has been known to slow cognitive development and slow the achievement of developmental milestones in infants and young children.

Mercury poisoning markers include impaired coordination, muscle weakness, degenerative eyesight loss, and hearing issues.


Daily exposure to arsenic batter’s immature immune systems making it extremely hard for little ones to fight illness and disease.

Infants are more at risk of developing cancer and skin lesions and long-term risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Heavy Metal Contamination of Baby Foods

A congressional investigation has found levels of arsenic, lead, and other toxic metals that can harm brain development in many popular US infant nutrition, including organic brands. Considering this ongoing research, legislative and regulatory institutions have been incredibly slow to change policies.

In 2021 the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, a subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives, published an investigation into US baby formula and baby food manufacturers. Investigators found that these companies' products were tainted with dangerous metals arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

This is unacceptable. We expect those who serve the most vulnerable in our families to do better!

Organic Baby Formulas: Are They Safe in the United States? 

Consumer Reports analyzed fifty nationally distributed infant nutrition checking for cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic, the type most harmful to health.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming results show that there were detectable levels of these heavy metal toxins, and organic foods were just as likely to contain heavy metals as conventional foods.

Organic certification in the US has proven that it does not always ensure safety for infants and toddlers.

How to Avoid Heavy Metal in Baby Formula

Nutrition you can trust is extremely important. As we can see, it is not always easy to find a safe and healthy baby formula that will allow your infant to grow, develop and thrive without toxins. 

European Baby Formula

Starting from square one when researching the best baby formulas, necessary is an infant nutrition company that places utmost priority on minimizing the risk of contamination by metals.

European baby formula brands have strict guidelines that place as much importance on the ingredients that make up your baby’s formula as those they leave out.

EU requirements for all stages of the formula are rigorous and require frequent testing and controls at all stages of production.

Organic Baby Formula: The European Difference

Organic quality sets European baby formula apart from American baby formula in a big way. European baby formulas have strict regulations and standards set by the European Commission to ensure the use of ingredients that only support growth and development and are manufactured and produced in an ecologically responsible manner.

EU guidelines require that all European organic baby formulas are free from pesticide residue, growth hormones, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals and preservatives, heavy metals, and potentially toxic ingredients.

Heavy Metal Free Baby Formula

Extreme importance must be placed on choosing a safe and healthy formula that will allow your infant to flourish in their most delicate stage of development.

The Milky Box's top priority is providing pure, clean ingredients and digestive support that mimics mother milk as close as possible and contributes to healthy physical growth and cognitive development without toxic ingredients like heavy metals.

We have breastfeeding alternatives to meet your family’s needs starting from birth.

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