Lead Detected In 20 Percent Of Baby Food

A new report released by the Environmental Defense Fund found that a surprising amount of baby food samples had detectable levels of lead. An environmental group has reportedly found lead in at least 20 percent of baby food, according to reports. “The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure”.Fruit juices, root vegetables and cookies were found to most often contain lead – 86% of sweet potato baby food samples and 43% of carrot samples contained lead, respectively. Soil contamination is a known source of lead in food, but the EDF report also raised the possibility of contamination occurring via the use of lead-containing materials during food processing.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. For instance, only 25 percent of regular apple juice tested positive for lead, while 55 percent of apple juices marketed for babies contained lead.In response to a request for comment, Gerber said that samples of its baby foods and juices “consistently fall well within the available guidance levels and meet our own strict standards”.The FDA does not identify the brands that were tested or the stores where they were purchased.For simplicity, the EDF sorted the baby foods into eight categories: root vegetables; non-root vegetables; fruits including juices; cereal; infant formula; prepared meals; crackers and cookies; and desserts.For now, the FDA requires bottled water to have no more than five parts-per-billion of lead, mainly because that “was the lowest amount FDA could reliably measure in 1995, and only four percent of the water tested exceeded the limit”, the EDF reports.There is a 20% chance there is lead in food and juice geared toward children.. However, a May 2017 FDA fact sheet on lead in foods states that a Toxic Elements Working Group will be developing a risk-based approach. More research is certainly needed.It is unclear how much lead was discovered in the samples, but no one is supposed to consume more than 6 micrograms per day, the maximum daily intake established by the Food and Drug Administration.This revised definition reflects findings from a 2012 National Toxicology Program Report that concluded a wide range of adverse health effects are associated with blood lead levels less than 5 μg/dL.Average dietary lead exposure for young children is around 2.9 µg/day, which approximately equates to daily levels in food at about 2.9 ppb (assuming average consumption of about 1 kg of food).The FDA has indicated that it is re-evaluating its standards for lead in foods.”I can’t explain it other than I assume baby food is processed more”, Neltner said.