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Potentially Dangerous Nanoparticles found in Baby Formulas

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Andrew.Ella.Barone

As a adoptive mother of two beautiful children, breastfeeding was not an option for me. I had to rely on the manufacturers of baby formula to create a safe product to nourish my growing babies. I recently learned from a laboratory analysis commissioned by Friends of the Earth that potentially dangerous nanoparticles were found in all six baby formulas they tested.

They tested leading US brands of baby formula including: G​erber, E​nfamil, Similac, and Well Beginnings​ (Walgreens brand). Three different types of nanoparticles were found including, “needle-like” nano hydroxyapatite, nano TiO2 (titanium dioxide), and nano silica dioxide.

These nanoparticle ingredients are not indicated on the label. We are also concerned that F​DA does not regulate nanoparticles in baby formula,​nor does the agency pre screen or test infant formulas before they enter the market. We believe the agency can do more to protect this vulnerable population.

Ella Drinking Formula

When I heard this news, I started to cry, knowing that my two children were given Enfamil formula as babies, and were possibly exposed to potentially harmful nanoparticles.

Report findings:

Gerber® Good Start® Gentle
Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA)

EnfamilTM
Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA) in needle-like and non needle-like form

Similac® Advance® OptiGROTM (liquid)
Titanium dioxide (nano TiO2 laboratory results inconclusive)

Similac® Advance® OptiGROTM (powder)
Nano silica dioxide (laboratory results inconclusive)

Well Beginnings TM Advantage®
Nano-hydroxyapatite (nano HA)

What is nanotechnology, what are nanoparticles/nanomaterials?

Nanoparticles are tiny little engineered particles, about 1000x thinner than a human hair!
The term ‘nanotechnology’ basically describes the manipulation of things at a really, really small scale, several hundred times smaller than our blood cells. The interesting and also the concerning thing about manipulating materials at this scale is that familiar substances change in ways that scientists may not expect or predict. Let me give you an example. We’re all familiar with the thick white sunscreen worn by lifeguards, etc. If we use nanotechnology to reduce the size of those particles to the nanoscale, suddenly those white zinc particles become transparent. This can be useful. The problem is that at this tiny scale, the particles change in other ways as well. We now know that those zinc nanoparticles are also much more toxic than the larger zinc particles – and unfortunately that appears to be true of many nanoparticles.

Nano titanium dioxide (TiO2):​Nano titanium dioxide is highly mobile in the body and has been detected in both humans and animals in the blood, liver and spleen. A 2015 study found that food grade TiO2 can be absorbed in the bloodstream. Studies show that titanium dioxide can damage DNA, disrupt the function of cells, interfere with the defence activities of immune cells and, by adsorbing fragments of bacteria and ‘smuggling’ them across the gastrointestinal tract, can provoke inflammation.

A study using pregnant mice found that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide were transferred from mother to offspring and was associated with brain damage, nerve system damage and reduced sperm production in male offspring.​

Nano silica has been found in the livers of rats and mice after oral administration. In vitro studies show a significant percentage of the Nano silica remains undissolved and that “the presence of undissolved Nano silica particles in the gut in vivo is considered likely”.
Animal studies have shown p​lacental transfer and fetal uptake of silica.​Scientists have warned that the enhanced sensitivity of the foetus may mean that even low doses of nanomaterials may cause adverse effects.

Is there a difference in risk from nanomaterials for children vs. adults?

With baby formula, infants may be at greater risk of suffering health harms from exposure to nanomaterials because of their more vulnerable physiology. Children’s immune, central nervous, reproductive and digestive systems are still developing, and at certain early stages of development, exposure to toxicants can lead to irreversible damage which can increase risk of disease later in life.

Why are we concerned?

Unfortunately, we don’t know whether eating nanofoods will cause serious harm to our health in the long term. But scientists have already found that feeding mice nanomaterials that are now being used by the food industry can cause liver and kidney damage. Test tube studies have found that nanomaterials now used by the food industry are toxic to human cells at even very low doses. These studies can be found in the report.

Given these really serious early warning signs, we need food regulators to keep unsafe and untested nanomaterials out of our foods.

Nano-Particles Baby Formula

What can you do? Sign the petition to stop nanoparticles from being put in baby formula!!

Let’s Talk About It!! Join us for this important Facebook chat:

Thursday, May 19th: Facebook cat at 6pm PST/7pm MST/8pm CST/9pm EST. Go to https://www.facebook.com/mamavation to attend the 90 minute chat.

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