Medicine

Report finds lead in baby food

Report finds lead in baby food

Caregivers can contact baby food brands and ask that their products be lead-free.

Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions. 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.

"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, CNN reported.

Some baby food sold in the United States contains lead, an environmental group warns. Lead can undermine the cognitive development of infants, as well, it can drive to attention issues and problems in the immune and cardiovascular systems.

An analysis of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that 20 percent of baby food samples contain lead. For example, 89 percent of the baby food grape juice samples had detectable levels of lead in them.

Cookies were also commonly found to have detectable levels of lead.

In the report, the EDF recommends a long list of actions to the FDA and manufacturers in order to reduce the risk of lead in food.

To combat lead being found in food, the EDF recommends the FDA ensures lead is not added to food products, announce that the global standards for fruit juice are inadequate, update the limits and food safety guidelines on lead risks to better protect children, and encourage manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food. At very high levels, lead can kill developing brain cells or be fatal. Aside from consuming lead through foods, people can inhale lead particles from lead-contaminated dust and water, as well as cosmetics, medicines and wall paints, the World Health Organization wrote.

Based on EPA estimates of average childhood dietary lead exposure, we are roughly dealing with a less than 1-point decrease in IQ in the adult population than it might otherwise be.

She added that pediatricians recommend limiting or eliminating fruit juices from children's diets, anyway, for nutritional reasons.

Recall that the 2012 National Toxicology Program Report cited a wide range of measurable health effects occurring with blood lead levels less than 5 μg/dL.

Neltner said that though the soil has definitely something to do with this, there are other factors. They also want companies to test more frequently during processing and take action if levels are exceeded. For comparison, we are talking about an average increase of 0.46 μg/dL blood lead levels from dietary exposure alone.

Help minimize a child's lead exposure by having them eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.


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