A new study has found that stainless steel counter top components can cause babies to develop cancer.
It says the findings will lead to new designs and manufacturing processes to help protect baby’s health.
BBC News reports that stainless is used in some products including a range of products sold in the US and Canada, and is also used in many household items such as dishwasher and microwave.
The new study, led by Dr Ravi Sankaran, from the University of Wisconsin, looked at cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma and bladder cancer in a cohort of 3,622 newborns and young children.
The researchers found that the risk of developing colorecytomas was higher for stainless steel surfaces compared to those of copper or brass.
Colorectus is a type of cancer in which the lining of the colon is damaged and there is a need for the bowel to be emptied to relieve pressure and prevent constipation.
Dr Sankaren’s team analysed data from 2,738 newborns diagnosed with colorecectal cancer between 1995 and 2013.
They found that in those babies exposed to stainless steel in utero, colorecctal tumours increased by 6.4 per cent.
It’s the first study to look at coloreclic tumours in babies who were exposed to aluminium, copper and brass in uters.
Dr Rava Sankarans work has been published in the journal The Lancet on Monday.
He said: “We found that exposure to stainless and aluminium resulted in higher risk of coloproctal (cancer of the pancreas) and colon cancer in children.”
This finding suggests that aluminium and stainless could be a risk factor for colorecal cancer in the future.
“We are also interested in studying the effects of exposure to aluminium and its constituents on the immune system of infants.”
Dr SANKARAN added: “These results have important implications for new and improved stainless steel-based products that we are developing.”
The researchers said the findings suggested that aluminium might be a potential carcinogen in future.
It has previously been suggested that children exposed to aluminum could be more likely to develop colorecellulitis, a condition where the lining in the small intestine becomes inflamed.
Dr Robert Pescadero, from The Australian Institute of Medical Research, said aluminium exposure was a risk to the health of infants and young people.
He told BBC News: “I think it’s important to take into account the risks of aluminium in the environment and in the food environment, but also the risks that could be caused by exposure to the aluminium.”
Dr Pescado said aluminium was known to cause tumours when ingested in excess, and he added that there was “a real concern” that aluminium in food could affect the development of the immune response in babies.
A number of health experts, including the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, have warned that the use of aluminium could affect infant’s immune systems.
A spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: ‘Aluminium is known to be a known carcinogen to humans, and this new study is consistent with the findings of previous studies that found aluminium exposure may cause tumour formation in mice.’
Dr Sancharan said: ”We don’t know what aluminium causes in the developing human, but aluminium is known in animal models to cause changes in immune systems and tumour development in humans.
“The aim of this study was to look into the possible relationship between aluminium exposure and colorection and coloprolactin-related colorections, and we found that aluminium may be a contributing factor.”
He said the study looked at the exposure of babies in uteros to different metals, including aluminium, steel and aluminium alloy.
He added that aluminium should not be confused with copper, which is commonly used in home appliances.
The spokesman said: Dr Sanksaran said: “”This is a very exciting finding.
“Our research has already led to a new type of stainless steel design for the stainless steel kitchen countertop and that is being used in a range a lot of products from the US to Canada.”
In the US, aluminium was used in appliances, including microwave ovens and dishwashers, and it was banned from many products in 2014.
The ban is due to a number of reasons, including a number found to be carcinogenic to humans.
In the UK, aluminium has been banned in some appliances such as cookers, microwaves and dishwasher units, but it was allowed in some household appliances.
It was banned in Canada in 2013.
It is also banned in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where aluminium is still a common ingredient in consumer products.
The World Health Organisation recommends aluminium as a safe and non-toxic metal for use in cooking and heating and for food, drinking and other food-related products.