Lead Detected In 20% Of Baby Food, Juice Samples

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The toxic metal was most commonly found in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, and cookies such as teething biscuits. The Food and Drug Administration has a guidance level for lead of 100 parts per billion for candy and dried fruit and 50 parts per billion for fruit juices. "The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure".

Children are consuming more lead than is healthy, a new study by an environmental watchdog warns.

The report however did not identify the samples by brands and said that the level of lead present in these food products are considered to be relatively low.

EDF also recommended that the FDA put safeguards in place to make sure lead isn't added to any foods or materials that may come in contact with food. More precisely, 52 different types of baby food were tested, and 52 of them had lead in them.

The Environmental Defense Fund analyzed over 2,000 food samples between 2003 and 2013 and found that 1 in 5 baby food samples had at least trace amounts of lead, which can cause cognitive problems in young children.

No safe level of lead in blood has been identified.

But the researchers argue that government standards don't reflect current scientific research. The Center for Disease Control has said that low levels of lead can affect IQ and academic success.

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"Unfortunately, our federal agencies have been slow to respond to that", Lowry said. "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". Companies need to investigate, he said. The FDA reemphasized their goal of protecting the human health by cutting down the human lead exposure is cut down to the barest minimum.

The researchers, though, noted that not all lead in soil is naturally occurring.

Contamination also could happen during processing from lead leaching from older brass, bronze, plastic or coated food handling equipment that contains lead; or from deteriorated lead paint in the building.

The organization's primary focus was on the baby foods because of how detrimental lead can be to child development.

For now, the FDA requires bottled water to have no more than five parts-per-billion of lead, mainly because that "was the lowest amount FDA could reliably measure in 1995, and only four percent of the water tested exceeded the limit", the EDF reports.

"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.

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