Friday, April 3, 2009

Rocket Fuel In Infant Formula?

Say what? No, there is no mistake in the title. I just finished reading this article over at Enviroblog - the blog of the Environmental Working Group and I just had to pass this information along.

On rocket fuel in infant formula
Jovana Ruzicic
April 2, 2009

You don't need to be a parent to know that moms and dads have a lot to worry about--anything from their kids' healthy growth and development to the friends they choose and those math homework assignments. Now, parents need to add one more thing to the list: the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate.

What - and where - is perchlorate?
Perchlorate is a thyroid hormone disruptor that contaminates water supplies of millions of Americans in 28 states and territories. The chemical is also in food: our analysis of data from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that three quarters of the most commonly consumed foods and beverages contain traces of perchlorate. Many Americans are getting a double perchlorate hit - from both food and water. At particular risk are babies in the womb and newborn infants; normal brain development depends on adequate levels of thyroid hormone.

CDC scientists study powdered infant formulas
Now we have another piece of the news for you. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found perchlorate in powdered infant formula. The study found that two most contaminated brands, made from cow's milk, accounted for 87 percent of the U.S. powdered formula market in 2000.

These findings raise new concerns about the rocket fuel ingredient, found in most of us. The CDC has warned that reconstituting cow's milk/lactose formula with water contaminated with perchlorate would cause over half the infants consuming the mix to exceed the so-called "safe" dose set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And the "safe" level is not very protective of public health to begin with.

We need a strong federal safe drinking water standard for perchlorate
This study presents more proof that what we need is a federal standard that would protect the public from this potent chemical. At her confirmation hearing, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson pledged that she would act "immediately" to reduce perchlorate contamination in drinking water.

Since then, EWG has called on Jackson to fulfill that promise, but so far the agency has not made public a plan of action. The CDC study provides some of the strongest evidence that it is time for EPA to change Bush era perchlorate policies that protect polluters and defense contractors and set a stringent, mandatory standard that protects the health of pregnant women, infants and other vulnerable populations.

What you can do?
Until that happens, you can limit the exposure to perchlorate in water you drink by using a good filtration system. The best first step is to call your local water utility or look on its website and see if it found perchlorate in the water you are drinking.
Also, you can write to EPA officials and ask them to take action - like they said they would.

I don't even know what to say other than stuff like this scares and angers me. What are your thoughts?


  1. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me. The more research I do about being green, the more ludicrous information I come across. I am going to pass this on and I will not being using powder as we had planned when wILLOW IS BORN.

    Thank you for passing this on.


  2. You can't win ya know? The liquid formula in cans has BPA and powdered formula has rocket fuel. What the hell? Do they have liquid formula in plastic containers? I think Similac used to but I don't know if there is BPA in their plastic. Ahhhhhhhhh!

  3. These things make me very glad I don't have kids. It's hard enough to take care of myself, my husband and our dog with all of this crap!! Makes me so mad!

  4. You'll only get two words from me.

    breast milk!

  5. It seems like every week something new comes out about some scary ingredient in formula or kids toys. My question is why is it even in there? What is it doing? Probably something like making the powder dissolve quicker.

    Also, you can't always assume breast milk is better, since we mamas carry this stuff in our bodies and who knows if it's passed on to our babies. I breastfeed but also give my son a bottle of formula in the evenings, so this news scares me. Which brands does this study focus on? I couldn't seem to find it.

  6. I just went to the EWG site to double check and it said that the study did not secify which brands were tested. Boo, they should tell us.


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