In non-ideal scenarios involving partial or non-breastfeeding, cow's milk-based dairy products are mainstream in infant feeding. Therefore, it is important to study the concentrations of potentially neurotoxic contaminants (Pb and Cd) and their respective counteracting elements (Ca and Zn) in infant dairy products. Fifty-five brands of infant formulas and milk sold in Brasilia, Brazil were analyzed. The dairy products came from areas in the central-west (26%), southeast (29%) and south of Brazil (36%) extending as far as Argentina (7%) and the Netherlands (2%). For toxic Pb and Cd, median concentrations in powdered samples were 0.109 mg/kg and 0.033 mg/kg, respectively; in fluid samples median Pb concentration was 0.084 mg/kg, but median Cd concentration was below the limit of detection and overall values were below reference safety levels. However, 62% of these samples presented higher Pb concentration values than those established by FAO/WHO. Although the inverse correlation between Cd and Zn (Spearman r = -0.116; P = 0.590) was not statistically significant, the positive correlation between Ca and Pb was (Spearman r = 0.619; P < 0.0001). Additionally, there was a significant correlation between Pb and Cd. Furthermore, the study also revealed that provision of the essential trace element Zn in infant formulas can provide adequate amounts of the recommended daily requirements. Infant formulas and milk sold for consumption by infants and children can be an efficient tool to monitor neurotoxic metal risk exposure among young children.
de Castro, C. S. P., Arruda, A. F., da Cunha, L. R., de Souza, J. R., Braga, J. W. B., & Dórea, J. G. (2010). Toxic metals (Pb and Cd) and their respective antagonists (Ca and Zn) in infant formulas and milk marketed in Brasilia, Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7(11), 4062–4077. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7114062