There’s been a lot of talk on the internet in the last week about a study out in California from an environmental group that reportedly found high levels of lead in children’s juice products.
For those not familiar with the report, it found what it considers high levels of lead in 85 percent of juice products.
California has its own strict standards for lead through Prop 65. The Environmental Law Foundation’s findings are based on those standards.
You can find the list of products that contained more than the 0.5mg of lead here.
To give you some perspective the FDA allows 50 ppb of lead in fruit juices
The ELF study found 0.5 mg of lead or .05 ppb of lead in these fruit juices. That means the FDA allows ten times the amount found in these juices and baby food products.
Over the years the FDA recommendation has been that children 7 or younger should consume no more than 6 mg of lead per day or 15 mg for children over 7. Remember that’s total consumption. So a child would have to consume 12 glasses of juice a day to reach the level the FDA considers dangerous.
I spoke with the FDA this morning and the agency said it wants parents to know it is very concerned about lead levels in food products. So it is trying to get the study information from this California group. The problem is that the California law states that groups like this don’t have to share their methodology or their scientific findings.
The FDA is looking into this. It plans to conduct its own scientific studies. So it may be some time before we know for sure if there’s reason for concern.
I’ve reported on lots of lead issues over the years as a consumer reporter and want to remind parents how important it is to limit the amount of lead especially small children are exposed to. Lead can cause serious neurological problems even death. Children younger than 7 have a greater risk because their brains are still developing.
For parents wondering how lead can be found in food products, lead can be found in the ground (from all of the years we used leaded fuel), it is often found in pesticides and continues to be emitted into the environment through coal fired plants.
I’ll be sure to let you know when the FDA test results are complete.