Toxic chemical element cadmium, found in everything from fertilizer to children’s jewelry, has now been linked to the development of breast cancer. Previously found to be contributing to infertility as well as the decline of health in children, the new study explores how dietary exposure to cadmium through ‘healthy’ food products like bread, cereals, and potatoes is upping your risk of cancer.
According to lead researcher and associate professor Agneta Åkesson, the dietary exposure is due to the fact that cadmium is present in many fertilizers used on farms. Published in Cancer Research , a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the research shows just how much of a threat the baby food contaminant poses to the health of adults and children alike. Åkesson explains that many ‘health’ foods could be carrying cadmium incognito, highlighting the need to buy high quality organic items — preferably from a local source. Åkesson states:
“Because of a high accumulation in agricultural crops, the main sources of dietary cadmium are bread and other cereals, potatoes, root crops and vegetables. In general, these foods are also considered healthy”
Although cadmium is naturally found in much of the soil across the U.S., the heavy metal is also released by battery manufacturers, smelters, electroplating plants, and other industries. Cadmium has also been found in inexpensive jewelry for kids — damaging the bodies of developing children and subsequently upping their cancer risk. In fact, previous research shows that cadmium may actually be more dangerous to children’s health than lead. It could even lead to a higher chance of developing learning disabilities.
A total of 2,199 children between the ages 6 and 15 were involved in the study, with 12.6 percent of them having a learning disability and 10.5 percent being enrolled in special education classes. Those with the highest cadmium levels were 3.21 times more likely to have a learning disability than children with less exposure.