Title

Determination of Mercury in Baby Formula Purchased from U.S. Supermarkets

Presenter Information

Brandi Clark

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry

Research Advisor

Wang, Jianmin

Advisor's Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Funding Source

Missouri S&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE) Fellows Program; EPA GRO Undergraduate Fellowship

Abstract

The toxic effect of mercury (Hg) in high doses has been known since the first century A.D.; however, only in recent years has low-level mercury exposure been cited as a possible contributing factor for behavioral and developmental disorders such as autism and ADD. In light of this new evidence, all possible routes of mercury exposure for infants should be assessed. In this study, the concentration of mercury in twenty baby formula types, representing all four major US brands, was measured to determine the contribution of food consumption to infant mercury exposure. Mercury levels in all samples fell below the EPA drinking water limit when compared to prepared formula concentrations. Mercury concentration was found to be correlated to formula brand but not to formula type (milk-based versus soy-based).

Biography

Brandi Clark is a fourth year undergraduate student studying in the Chemistry department. This presentation marks the completion of her third year conducting undergraduate research in the OURE program. Her current research interests are environmental and analytical chemistry, and she plans to enter a graduate program in Environmental Engineering after completion of her undergraduate degree.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Engineering oral presentation, Second place

Location

Gasconade Room

Presentation Date

08 Apr 2009, 9:00 am - 9:30 am

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Apr 8th, 9:00 AM Apr 8th, 9:30 AM

Determination of Mercury in Baby Formula Purchased from U.S. Supermarkets

Gasconade Room

The toxic effect of mercury (Hg) in high doses has been known since the first century A.D.; however, only in recent years has low-level mercury exposure been cited as a possible contributing factor for behavioral and developmental disorders such as autism and ADD. In light of this new evidence, all possible routes of mercury exposure for infants should be assessed. In this study, the concentration of mercury in twenty baby formula types, representing all four major US brands, was measured to determine the contribution of food consumption to infant mercury exposure. Mercury levels in all samples fell below the EPA drinking water limit when compared to prepared formula concentrations. Mercury concentration was found to be correlated to formula brand but not to formula type (milk-based versus soy-based).