Using a Federal Drug Administration (FDA) database of food samples, EDF reported some pretty worrying numbers, most remarkably in fruit juice samples intended for children.
At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of food evaluated had detectable lead and eight types of baby food were found to contain lead in 40 per cent of their samples as well. Of 2,164 baby food samples, 20 percent contained the toxic metal, and it was most commonly found in grape and apple fruit juices, sweet potatoes, carrots and cookies like teething biscuits. While the study is American, numerous same brands of baby food can be found in Canada.
The environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on June 15 released a study about dietary lead exposure, with a focus on food intended for babies and young children.
At very high levels, lead can kill developing brain cells or be fatal.
Lead exposure from paint chips and contaminated drinking water has been known to be hazardous to health but according to a new report, food, in particular baby food could also be a problem. The Center for Disease Control has said that low levels of lead can affect IQ and academic success.
The FDA has set limits for lead in the form of maximum parts per billion (ppb) for certain foods.
This story was updated on June 16 to correct the date of CDC recommendations and also to clarify that the 2017 EPA dietary lead exposure estimate is based on data from 2007-2013.
The report however did not identify the samples by brands and said that the level of lead present in these food products are considered to be relatively low.
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. She called for urgent action by policymakers to look more closely at the issue of lead in food.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group representing food companies such as Gerber, said in a statement that lead and other minerals are found naturally in soil and water throughout the world.
"I don't know whether we can completely eliminate lead", Neltner said. Parents should also have their children tested for lead, tell them to wash their hands often - especially before eating and sleeping, clean their toys and feed them healthy snacks such as yogurt, cheese slices and whole grain crackers, World Health Organization advises. ABQ Free Press' fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.