Why Should You Care?
Arsenic can impact human health in a variety of ways. It has no taste or odor, and in high doses has been used as a poison.
At lower doses over many years, it is known to cause cancer of the bladder, lung and skin.
Scientists are discovering more about how arsenic can also increase the risk of developing many non-cancer health problems such as high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Scientists are also investigating how children may be more susceptible to harmful effects of arsenic.
No amount of arsenic exposure is considered safe.
What Can You Do?
The FDA does not currently regulate the amount of arsenic that can be present in our food. But there are simple steps that you can take to limit overall arsenic exposure, both for yourself and for your children. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind...
Limit Rice Consumption
Rice and rice products are the largest source of arsenic in our diet.
You can decrease the amount of arsenic you and your children consume by:
1. Choosing white rice over brown rice - white rice contains lower amounts of arsenic than brown rice.
Arsenic is deposited in the outer portion of the rice grain that is removed in white rice.
2. Diversify your grains - choose oatmeal over rice based cereals.
Substitute rice with other grains with minimal arsenic content such as millet and quinoa.
3. Limit rice-based foods - limit intake of rice cakes and other rice based snack foods, especially for children.
Rinse Rice Before Cooking
Rinsing your rice before cooking will decrease the arsenic content.
If you get your drinking water from a private well, make sure it has been tested for arsenic.
Limit Apple Juice
Apple juice may contain arsenic. Choose other juices over apple juice, or skip juices.
Read Labels Closely
Rice sweetener in the form of brown rice syrup is in many foods you might not suspect such as granola and energy bars. Read labels closely!