Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Medical | By Sammy Miller

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

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

According to the findings, a lot of products for babies have more lead than the regular versions.

The study, calledLead in food: A hidden health threat by the U.S. -based Environmental Defense Fund, found that cumulatively children were consuming over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's acceptable levels of lead consumption.

Baby food versions of apple and grape juices, as well as carrots, had more samples with detectable levels of lead than the regular versions, according to the report.

The primary focus of the organisation was on baby foods due to the detrimental effect lead could have on child development. Bole was not involved in the report.

"EDF also found that more than 1 million children consume more lead than the FDA's limit", the report said. While the study is American, numerous same brands of baby food can be found in Canada. Exposure at a young age can permanently affect a developing brain, causing lifelong behavioral problems and lower IQ.

The EDF analyzed data by the FDA from 2003 to 2013 as part of the agency's Total Diet Study (TDS).

The FDA cites an overall lack of feasibility as a reason for not establishing a zero-tolerance stance for lead in food.

"I can't explain it other than I assume baby food is processed more", Neltner said. More research is certainly needed.

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FDA has set guidance levels of 100 parts per billion (ppb) for candy and dried fruit and 50 ppb for fruit juices. And the Flint water crisis has brought lead pipes to the forefront of our minds.

The worst culprits for lead included grape juice for babies (89% of samples had lead); apple juice (55%); and sweet potatoes (86%).

Read the full report. "The agency is in the process of reevaluating the analytical methods it uses for determining when it should take action with respect to measured levels of lead in particular foods, including those consumed by infants and toddlers". The Environmental Defense Fund doesn't say that parents should necessarily avoid certain products, but they do advise parents to talk to their doctors about risks of lead exposure.

"In many American communities, the most significant route of lead exposure is from paint and soil", Bole said.

"In the meantime, parents of young children should consult with their child's pediatrician to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure", the report advised. However, the lead content in baby food can not be classified as coming from the soil or other areas.

Lead often makes its way into food from contaminated soil; however, the researchers aren't sure why higher levels were food in baby food compared to general food samples. And samples of Gerber juices were all below the EPA standard for drinking water.

There is no known safe level of lead in blood, the study explained.

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