Lead Found in 20% of Baby Food Including Juices: Environmental Group

Lead Detected In 20 Percent Of Baby Food

Since chronic exposure especially harms children, the Environmental Defense Fund just analyzed over a decade's worth of data collected by the FDA, focusing on baby foods specifically. It found that 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples and 14 percent of 10,064 regular food samples had detectable lead levels.

Reports state that the particular metal, which could be deadly, was most commonly found in fruit juices like apple and grape, and root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. For example, a whopping 89% of tested grape juices contained detectable levels.

Cookies: 64 percent of Arrowroot cookies and 47 percent of teething biscuits contain lead.

This type of plot gives a ballpark idea of the percentage of the baby food being sold in the USA for certain levels of lead.

Lead can cause problems with attention and behavior, cognitive development, the cardiovascular system and immune system, Bole said.

National advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released a report this week, warning of what it called a "hidden health threat" - a "surprising" amount of lead in food.

The Environmental Defense Fund does not mention the brands but advises that parents talk to their children's doctors regarding lead exposure.

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Baby food was the main focus of the study because lead consumption can be detrimental to development.

Companies can take action without the FDA to limit lead exposure from their products by setting their own low-lead goals, prioritizing lead contaminant minimization when sourcing ingredients, and testing frequently for lead in their products and taking action to find the source, if applicable.

According to a fact sheet by FDA, crops become lead-inevitable if the lead is in the soil because the plants will absorb them while they grow. However, FDA has set specific lead levels for variety of foods.

There is a 20% chance there is lead in food and juice geared toward children. For instance, only 25 percent of regular apple juice tested positive for lead, while 55 percent of apple juices marketed for babies contained lead.

This report adds to previous federal findings that show that food is a significant source of lead exposure for children. After this the organization went on to look at data from the FDA's Total Diet Study and check for lead in foods for kids. However, the FDA is in the process of reviewing its standards right now, and there's a lot of concern that current standards don't reflect the latest science about the potential health risks, especially for young children.

Though the estimated reductions in IQ here may seem low, they are not insignificant - in some cases, small losses in IQ might make the difference, for example, in the type of career one leads and subsequent lifetime earnings.

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