Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Professor Andy Meharg, lead author of the study and Professor of plant and soil sciences at Queen’s, said: “This research has shown direct evidence that babies are exposed to illegal levels of arsenic despite the EU regulation to specifically address this health challenge.”Babies are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of arsenic that can prevent the healthy development of a baby’s growth, IQ and immune system to name but a few.”A Food Standards Agency spokesman said: “It is the responsibility of food manufacturers to ensure that products comply with this legislation. Local authorities enforce this legislation in the UK and report any non-compliant results to the FSA.” Around half of baby rice sold in major UK supermarkets contains illegal levels of inorganic arsenic which could stunt children’s growth and intelligence, a study has found.Despite new stricter rules on how much arsenic children’s food can contain being introduced in January, researchers from Queen’s University Belfast found levels had actually risen. Rice contains higher levels of arsenic than other food Some 50 per cent of baby rice food products contains an illegal level of inorganic arsenic, it found.In January 2016, the EU imposed a maximum limit of inorganic arsenic on manufacturers in a bid to mitigate associated health risks. Rice has, typically, ten times more inorganic arsenic than other foods and chronic exposure can cause a range of health problems including developmental problems, heart disease, diabetes and nervous system damage. Babies are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of arsenic that can prevent the healthy development of a baby’s growth, IQ and immune systemProfessor Andy Meharg
Doe Run has agreed to spend up to $7.5 million on several environmental improvement projects. In addition, the agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines several major programs that will take place over the next three to five years, improving sites the company owns or operates, including its smelters, mines and mills in Missouri. “We all share common goals for vibrant communities, high-paying local jobs and improved environmental performance,” said Bruce Neil, President and CEO of The Doe Run Co. “The agreement enables the company to address historical and more recent environmental issues, while still providing jobs for our employees, strategic metal to our customers and the $1 billion economic benefit we provide to the region.”As a part of the agreement, Doe Run will also pay a $3.5 million penalty to the US Government and $3.5 million to the State of Missouri school funds for Iron County (50%), Reynolds County (30%), Jefferson County (15%) and Washington County (5%).The company will also discontinue operating its Herculaneum smelter by the end of 2013, rather than in 2016 as required by state regulation for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Work at that site will continue as part of a cleanup and repurposing of the facility.“For more than a year, we’ve been working with the community of Herculaneum toward repurposing portions of our site in Herculaneum,” Neil stated. “We’ve spent nearly $400,000 toward two port feasibility studies, donated land on which a new bridge is being built to access the area, and we believe the location could be an ideal site for a Jefferson County port. A port could provide an estimated 2,000 jobs to the region.”Highlights of additional agreements include:Maintaining production limits of 130,000 t/y of finished metal production at its Herculaneum smelterLimiting SO2 emissions at the Herculaneum smelter consistent with the 130,000 t production limitSetting aside sufficient funds (financial assurance) for future remediation work at Herculaneum operations and at the end of mining operations at Doe Run’s mine and mill facilitiesEnclosing all lead concentrate storage and handling facilities at the company’s four mill facilities to reduce airborne particulateConducting yard sampling in Herculaneum on an annual basis, over the next four years, in yards up to 1.5 miles from the smelter and remediation where necessaryPreparing underground and surface water management plans and complying with new limitsConducting environmental mitigation projects of up to $7.5 million, including remediation within an 8.5-mile stretch of the Bee Fork Creek near Fletcher Mill, and additional projects primarily aimed at schools and public entities in Jefferson, Dent, Iron, Washington, Scott and/or Reynolds countiesModifying the existing transportation Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) to include training, auditing, additional sampling and a study of concentrate handling and transportation practices.“This is a comprehensive program that charts a clear path for the company,” Neil stated. “We’re optimistic about our future for many reasons. In March, we announced a breakthrough new technology that will allow us to produce finished lead metal with a 99% reduction of all air emissions. We are also having success with newer technology we’re using for exploration. These new developments, along with the plan to address past issues, demonstrate our commitment to being a viable and responsible business.”Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and the largest integrated lead producer in the Western Hemisphere. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling facilities, located in Boss, Missouri. Doe Run and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona.