Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes


Arsenic Found in Energy Bars, Baby Cereals, and Cereal Bars

According to research that was published this past Thursday, in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, certain baby formulas, cereal bars, and energy shots that contain brown rice syrup have high levels of arsenic, well above the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water.  The study was done by researchers at Dartmouth University.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, arsenic is a poison to humans. Long-term exposure can cause skin damage, circulatory problems, paralysis, and blindness.  It has also been linked to an increase in cancer.

The researchers tested for both inorganic and organic forms of arsenic, although inorganic arsenic was the main source found in the majority of the products. The two types of arsenic refer to the chemistry of the compound and are not connected to pesticide use. Experts are split over whether there are risks from organic arsenic.

The EPA has set safe drinking water limits for arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb). The researchers found inorganic arsenic levels of 8.6 ppb in the dairy based formula and 21.4 ppb in the soy based formula.

The arsenic levels in cereal bars tested ranged from 23 to 128 ppb in products that contained rice ingredients.  The arsenic levels in energy bars is 23 to 128 parts per billion.  One of the three energy shots tested had 84 ppb arsenic (all of which was inorganic arsenic), while the other two came in at 171 ppb (53 percent of which was inorganic).

Arsenic levels in the two formulas were also higher than the World Health Orgnanization’s “maximum tolerable daily intake” standard for babies, who are particularly vulnerable to arsenic’s neurological effects because of their small size and developing brain.

Researchers are worried for the health of babies that ingested the arsenic-laden formula because they are very vulnerable to the element's toxic effects due to their small size and development.

The EPA does not have set standards for drinking water for tiny babies, only for full grown adults.

If you are concerned about levels of arsenic in your child's diet, do not feed them formula or foods  in which organic brown rice syrup is the main ingredient.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to





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