Why you should avoid Heavy Metals in baby food

We all want the best for our little ones, which is why it’s important to be aware of the potential risks that may affect your baby. The health & development of infants and children can be severely impacted by continued exposure to toxic heavy metals. Medical issues such as attention deficit disorders, autism, anaemia, gastrointestinal dysfunction and neurological damage are examples of issues that can manifest due to heavy metal exposure [1-4].

How do heavy metals get into my food?

Chemical elements like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are most referred to as heavy metals. They are naturally found within soil and some water sources [5], though higher-than-normal levels are often an indicator of environmental pollution. High levels of these heavy metals in soil or water can also have a knock-on effect, as many types of crops readily absorb these heavy metals through their natural metabolism within the soil, or through their consumption of water [5]. Because of this issue, heavy metal testing of food sources is a very important consideration for farmers and manufacturers alike.

Recently, the Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) commission undertook testing on a total of 168 baby foods and found that heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic were present in 95% of tested products, while a quarter of these same baby food products contained all four of them [4]. Similarly, a previous investigation into this topic by the US Food & Drug Administration determined that at least one of these same four heavy metals were present in 33 out of 39 baby food products tested [6]. The table below expands further on the issue of heavy metals that may be found in some baby food products.

Heavy Metal Percentage of baby food products where heavy metals are found Potential Affect in Baby and Later Life
Arsenic 73% Linked to increase in skin cancers, skin lesions, heart disease and neurotoxicity
Lead 94% Negatively affect growth, behaviour and ability to learn including lowering IQ
Mercury 32% Toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes
Cadmium 32% Suppress the immune system and increased risk of learning disability

LÉO is the way forward!

Based on extensive research in the fields of infant and maternal health and nutrition, Little Étoile Organic baby food has been formulated to optimise growth and development through scientific measures. Little Étoile Organic baby food is the only product on the market that tests for heavy metal contaminant levels (which itself is a voluntary measure!), along with testing for common allergens that could also cause a baby harm. Independent testing is undertaken on every pouch of Little Étoile Organic for substances such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead, to ensure that all food in the pouches maintain levels of heavy metals below the detectable limit (and so complying with Australian safety guidelines). You can rest soundly knowing that Little Étoile Organic pouches are not only nutritious, but safe for your precious bundle of joy.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14757716
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4427717/
  3. https://www.who.int/ceh/capacity/heavy_metals.pdf
  4. https://www.healthybabyfood.org/sites/healthybabyfoods.org/files/2019-10/BabyFoodReport_EXEC-SUMM-ENGLISH_R5b.pdf
  5. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/metals-contaminants-food
  6. https://www.fda.gov/food/guidance-documents-regulatory-information-topic-food-and-dietary-supplements/infant-formula-guidance-documents-regulatory-information