Researchers at Keele University in Staffordshire have found that formula milk can contain 40 times as much aluminum as breast milk.
Tests found traces of the metal exceeded the levels which are legally allowed in water, raising concerns about long term health risks for formula-fed babies.
Dr Chris Exley from Keele University said 'We've known about the high aluminium content in infant formula for many years and there is evidence to show it is potentially quite dangerous. It has been linked to neurological diseases and bone defects in later life and there are even links with dementia. Everyone has aluminium in their bodies but infants are especially prone to absorbing it and are not so good at getting rid of it.'
Whilst manufacturers insist they do not add aluminium to their products, many of the brands are packaged in aluminium foil.
The researchers tested 16 brands for babies up to the age of one. Dr Exley, writing in the journal BMC Pediatrics, said the findings were 'concerning'.
'It is concerning, especially when the product with the highest level of aluminium we found was aimed at premature babies, who are likely to be the most vulnerable of all. It is really shocking. Millions of parents have no choice but to feed their children this milk. I would advise if they are using ready-made milk to switch to powder as it contains lower levels.
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