A dozen “special concern” substances in the diet of young children


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A bannir pour les enfants de moins de 1 an, selon l’Anses : le lait courant, qui présente trop de polluants organiques.

ANSES highlights lead, inorganic arsenic, nickel, acrylamide and furans (compounds forming especially during high-temperature cooking), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins and mycotoxins – substances produced by fungi sometimes contaminating grain. Exposure situations in these products, tempers ANSES “are not systematically adverse effects occurred synonyms” . In its opinion, the agency still considers “essential put up or strengthen actions to reduce exposure of the population child “ to these compounds.

Working ant

The details of the meals served to more than 700 children (not breastfed) was found several days, so build a sample of meal types. The agency then reproduces the methods of preparation (dilution, cooking …) over 5400 food before analysis composition, so estimate exposure children with identified toxic. A painstaking work which, with the drafting of the voluminous report, lasted nearly six years.

According to the agency, two thirds of children under 4 months are not exposed to excessive levels of these substances of concern. But this rate drops to only 21% for 13-36 months. In this age group, over 40% of children are too set ed at least two problematic compounds.

The first recommendation farm ANSES is proscribe for children less than 1 year, current milk replacement infant formulas (milk for infants to rebuild …). Besides the nutritional considerations, the current milk is an important source of exposure to some POPs, such as PCBs and dioxins. In this age group, children consuming milk are current as two to six times more exposed to these toxic than those consuming infant formulas.

Varying species of fish

PCBs and dioxins are also found in fish, which however ANSES recommends consumer twice a week, provided vary species and methods supply (fishing, farming).

Another substance pointed by ANSES: lead. Its main sources of exposure are vegetables and water but its ubiquity in the environment – legacy of leaded petrol, now banned – makes it difficult to avoidance. The agency thus recommends “vary the diet of children so that they do not always eat the most contaminated foods” . As for inorganic arsenic, it is mainly present in infant formula, rice, baby food prepared with vegetables or fish. These jars are also sometimes criticized for excessive levels of acrylamide or mycotoxins, also found in milk drinks based on cereals and biscuits.

one hundred non-evaluated substances

Finally, ANSES recommends lead kind of work “clearly identify the sources of contamination in the entire production chain” and improve agronomic knowledge. It also suggests to lead a reflection on “the usefulness of the implementation of regulations for unregulated contaminants to date (…) for which exposure is considered worrying: acrylamide and furans, nickel “ and certain mycotoxins.

Although very ambitious, the analysis has limitations. First, ANSES warns a hundred substances encountered could not be evaluated from the perspective of their potential risks, lack of toxicological knowledge. This is the case of certain materials in contact with food (plasticizers, resins, …), hormone disruptors or pesticides. In addition, the potential effects of mixtures of molecules have been considered in a limited number of cases. Finally, only the dietary exposure was considered. However, in some cases, exposure through ambient air or house dust, for example, can be significant.



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