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Baby health

Advisory: Use bottled water for formula feeding (at certain times)

Health Canada is recommending parents use bottled water to prep infant formula when there are algal blooms.

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Health Canada and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water are updating their recommendations for parents formula-feeding young infants during blue-green algal bloom season in Canada.

They're sharing the update now because the season is approaching, and new research has emerged in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The research suggests infants (age 0 to 1) may be more vulnerable to toxins occurring in tap water during this time because they take in a large amount of water relative to their body weight.

There's a maximum level allowed for these toxins in Canadian drinking water, which applies to everyone, including infants. So this advisory is precautionary while the new guideline is being proposed.

The proposed guideline involves drinking water authorities advising residents to use bottled water (or other sources of drinking water) when prepping baby formula during the algal bloom, or when toxins produced by algae are found in tap water.

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