Lead detected in baby food samples

Henrietta Strickland
June 19, 2017

Lead is a neurotoxin. CDC reiterated that foods rich in calcium, vitamin C, and iron could help stop lead absorption.

Bole said that lead present in the food can cause problems with attention and behaviour, cognitive development of children and can also affect the cardiovascular system and immune system of the child. FDA also says that elements of lead in the food we eat also come from the surroundings.

For the study, researchers looked at lead concentrations in 2,164 samples of baby food, and 10,064 samples of regular food.

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. This study has been performed since the 1970s in order to track metals, pesticides, and nutrients in food.

Breakdown of baby food categories.

Limits on juice and water.

The Environmental Defense Fund is calling on federal authorities to lower the allowable levels of lead in baby food to 1 ppb.

Researchers had data from 2,164 baby food samples, which included 57 different types.

Concern over fruit juices flared up in 2012 when Consumer Reports found that one in four samples of apple and grape juices had lead levels higher than the FDA's bottled-water limit of 5 ppb.

Ensures that, especially for baby food, there is less than 1 ppb of lead in the food and juices they sell.

But she said she wouldn't want parents to avoid root vegetables altogether.

Among the vegetables which put babies at risk of lead ingestion, there are sweet potatoes, with the alarming quantity of 86 percent.

In third place were fruit juices, with 29 percent positive overall. In mixed fruit juice, 67 percent had lead, while 55 percent of apple juice contained lead and 45 percent of pear juice. Protecting children's ability to learn and thrive demands that we find effective ways to reduce exposures to lead from all sources.

"I don't know whether we can completely eliminate lead", Neltner said. Numerous samples tested by FDA are already either lead-free (according to the limits of detection in the analyses used) or have low lead content. Baby food is also processed more so there's a possibility that processing could play a role. 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.

Eating lead-contaminated food increases the level of lead in the blood. Parents should also have their children tested for lead, tell them to wash their hands often - especially before eating and sleeping, clean their toys and feed them healthy snacks such as yogurt, cheese slices and whole grain crackers, World Health Organization advises. Information about lead from the FDA is available here.

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