Lead Detected In 20 Percent Of Baby Food

Lead Detected In 20 Percent Of Baby Food

There's no safe level of lead, according to the EDF, and yet about 500,000 children have elevated blood lead levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead.

A new report released by the Environmental Defense Fund found that a surprising amount of baby food samples had detectable levels of lead.

The samples studied were not identified by brand, and the levels of lead are thought to be relatively low.

"Little things matter: a little bit of lead in everything you eat, adds up to a lot of lead in your diet", he explained.

This spurred the organization to examine data from the FDA's Total Diet Study for specific sources of exposure for kids. There are certain types of baby food that more commonly contained lead.

The environmental group's analysis found that, over that 11-year period, at least one test had measurable levels of lead in all but five types of baby food.

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Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions. But experts say it's important to stay vigilant about bigger sources of lead poisoning in kids. 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. Grape juice most often contained lead, with 89% of samples showing detectable levels.

As for what we can do to avoid it: Neltner encouraged parents to contact their favourite brands and ask what they're practices are and make them aware of the problem.

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. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency this year has estimated that more than five percent of U.S. children (more than a million) get more than the FDA's recommended limit of lead from their diet. What is most worrying about this is the fact that researchers can't tell where the lead comes from. As a comparison, the non-baby versions contain significantly less lead.

In the meantime, parents of young children should consult with their child's pediatrician to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure.

EDF's report lists several recommendations for the FDA, including updating its current limits and food safety guidelines as well as making absolutely clear that the worldwide standards for fruit juice "are inadequate".

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