20 percent of baby food contaminated with lead, researchers found

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20 percent of baby food contaminated with lead, researchers foundThe Environmental Defense Fund carried out the survey by analyzing the federal data of baby food of last 11 years. They found 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples were contaminated with lead. The lead exposure from paint chips and contaminated drinking water should be controlled. This could increase the risk of lead poisoning.  Grape and apple juices, root vegetables including sweet potatoes and carrots and teething biscuits contained the high traces of toxic lead.

Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, who was not involved with the report said, “Lead can have an adverse effect on children and it’s especially injurious during important windows of development. The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure.”

FDA estimated that lead concentration is 100 parts per billion and 50 parts per billion for fruit juices. These levels are not up to the extent that it will prove fatal but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no safe levels of lead in the blood of children. Lead consumption can lead to many problems in behavior, attention span, development of cognitive abilities, hearing and speech development, immune system and cardiovascular system.

Environmental Defense Fund’s chemicals policy director, Tom Neltner said, “The analyzed report showed that two-thirds of toddlers were exposed to lead from food sources.” The organization later looked at FDA’s Total Diet Study and checked for leads in foods for kids.

Another report released by the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that over five percent of kids take in over six micrograms per day of lead. This is the maximum intake level according to Food and Drug Administration in 1993. Much more research is still needed on sources of contamination, FDA says.

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