Following up on their November 2012 report about the "worrisome" levels of arsenic in rice products, Consumer Reports released an update this month that reveals rice products commonly eaten by children and infants, like rice cereal and rice pasta, contain even more inorganic arsenic, which is a carcinogen, than originally thought, putting young individuals at greater risk of exposure. Long-term exposure to arsenic can lead to bladder, lung, and skin cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Based on the new findings, Consumer Reports found one serving of rice cereal or rice pasta exceeds the recommended weekly limit of rice for kids, and one serving of rice cakes is close to this limit.
The report also found that the amount of arsenic in rice can vary depending on the type of rice and where it is grown, and alternative grains like amaranth, buckwheat and barley contain negligible or less inorganic arsenic than rice. Time reports that rice absorbs higher amounts of arsenic than other grains, and the arsenic enters the water and soil from pesticides and poultry fertilizer.
There are currently no federal limits of arsenic in most foods, reports Time.
Check out the slideshow above to learn how you can lower your exposure to arsenic in rice.