Lead Found in 20% of American Baby Food Samples

Pediatricians and public health researchers know they have to be on the lookout for lead exposure from paint chips and contaminated drinking water. A new report suggests food — particularly baby food — could be a problem, too.

The Environmental Defense Fund, in an analysis of 11 years of federal data, found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples.

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

Children with elevated lead levels aren't being tested or diagnosed, study says Children with elevated lead levels aren't being tested or diagnosed, study says.

"Lead can have a number of effects on children and it's especially harmful during critical windows of development,"

…….said Dr. Aparna Bole, pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, who was not involved with the report.

"The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure."

This surprised Tom Neltner, Environmental Defense Fund's chemicals policy director, who has spent 20 years researching and working to reduce lead exposures. His further analysis of the EPA report was that food is the major source of lead exposure in two-thirds of toddlers.

This spurred the organization to examine data from the FDA's Total Diet Study for specific sources of exposure for kids.

In the resulting report, released Thursday, Neltner found that the baby food versions of apple juice, grape juice and carrots had detectable lead more often than the regular versions.

Researchers could determine how frequently contamination occurred, but not at what levels.

Percentage of food samples containing lead Grape juice, baby: 89%, regular: 68% Apple juice, baby: 55%, regular: 25% Carrots, baby: 44%, regular: 14%

According to the FDA, lead makes its way into food through contaminated soil, but Neltner suspects that processing may also play a role. "I can't explain it other than I assume baby food is processed more," Neltner said.

"The FDA is continuing to work with industry to further limit the amount of lead in foods to the greatest extent feasible, especially in foods frequently consumed by children," read an agency statement in response to the 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.

" Neltner said he's glad the FDA is working on the issue but wants them to "get it done. Move quicker."

 

For a more concise read, the above text is some of the more important points in a longer article I ran across on CNN.com

My notes on ways parents can fight back, and protect their children

According to an article in NaturalNews.com on Baby Food Makers Sued over trace levels of Lead in their Baby Food, California-based Environmental Law Foundation is encouraging parents concerned about the safety of the baby food and children's products they buy to contact their brands of choice and request product safety data. If the company refuses to provide such data, or if the available data reveals that contaminant levels are too high, demand that the company reformulate its products. If the company gives you any trouble, explain that you will purchase another brand, or even make your own baby food f it does not make a legitimate effort to produce safer products.

As I am starting to do with many of my foods, such as powders for my smoothies, one might consider starting to locate and purchase from companies that test their products for contaminants. For example, NaturalNews.com mentioned above, has a web storefront called TheHealthRanger.com, who meticulously tests all its products for lead, mercury, and all other contaminants (they currently do not have a large selection of baby food however)

You can view a detailed info on Lead in baby food testing by visiting the following links:
Complete list www.envirolaw.org test results of baby foods tested for Lead, and all results
Complete list of Companies and products named in the Environmental Law Foundation Lawsuit for Lead in Baby Food
General info on dangers of lead and FAQ from the Environmental Law Foundation can be found here

 

You can also keep up to date with the status of the ELF lawsuit by visiting:
http://www.envirolaw.org/

~stay healthy~

 

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all my articles in "Staying Well"
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