Early childhood inorganic arsenic (i-As) exposure is of particular concern since it may adversely impact on lifetime health outcomes. Infants' urinary arsenic (As) metabolites were analysed in 79 infants by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometric detection (IC-ICP-MS) to evaluate i-As exposure pre- and post-weaning. Levels of i-As in rice-based weaning and infants' foods were also determined to relate to urinary As levels. Higher As levels, especially of monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), were found in urine from formula fed infants compared to those breastfed. Urine from infants post-weaning consuming rice-products resulted in higher urinary MMA and DMA compared to the paired pre-weaning urine samples. The European Union (EU) has regulated i-As in rice since 1st January 2016. Comparing infants' rice-based foods before and after this date, little change was found. Nearly ¾ of the rice-based products specifically marketed for infants and young children contained i-As over the 0.1 mg/kg EU limit. Efforts should be made to provide low i-As rice and rice-based products consumed by infants and young children that do not exceed the maximum i-As level to protect this vulnerable subpopulation.
- Journal Article