Early-life exposure to inorganic arsenic (i-As) may cause long-lasting health effects, but as yet, little is known about exposure among weaning infants. We assessed exposure before and during weaning and investigated the association between solid food intake and infants' urinary arsenic species concentrations. Following the recording of a comprehensive 3 day food diary, paired urine samples (pre- and post-weaning) were collected and analyzed for arsenic speciation from 15 infants participating in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study. Infants had higher urinary i-As (p-value = 0.04), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) (p-value = 0.002), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) (p-value = 0.01), and sum of arsenic species (i-As + MMA + DMA, p-value = 0.01) during weaning than while exclusively fed on a liquid diet (i.e., breast milk, formula, or a mixture of both). Among weaning infants, increased sum of urinary arsenic species was pairwise-associated with intake of rice cereal (Spearman's ρ = 0.90, p-value = 0.03), fruit (ρ = 0.70, p-value = 0.03), and vegetables (ρ = 0.86, p-value = 0.01). Our observed increases in urinary arsenic concentrations likely indicate increased exposure to i-As during the transition to solid foods, suggests the need to minimize exposure during this critical period of development.
- Journal Article