Is baby food often contaminated with lead?
The food we eat has a significant impact on health. Therefore, more and more people pay attention to a healthy diet these days. But what about our toddlers' diet? US researchers have now found that some baby food samples contain lead.
In their investigation, the scientists at the Environmental Defense Fund found that baby food partially contains lead - an extremely toxic heavy metal. It was used in fruit juices, for example. Biscuits and root vegetables found. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Twenty percent of the samples examined contained toxic lead
The so-called Environmental Defense Fund is based on an analysis of the data collected from eleven years. The researchers found lead in 20 percent of the 2,116 samples of American baby food. The poisonous metal was found particularly often in fruit juices with grapes and apples, in root vegetables and in biscuits. The focus of the organization's review was on baby foods, because lead can be particularly harmful to children's development, the authors explain.
What are the negative effects of lead on people?
Lead can have a number of harmful effects on children and is particularly harmful during the critical period of early development. The greatest stress is neurocognitive and can also occur at low concentrations, the experts explain. Lead can lead to problems with attention, behavior, cognitive development, the cardiovascular system and the immune system.
Food is the main source of lead exposure
The Environmental Protection Agency released a report earlier this year that over five percent of children ingest more than six micrograms of lead a day. This value is actually the maximum daily intake that the Food and Drug Administration recommended in 1993. Another analysis found that food is the main source of lead exposure in two thirds of young children, the doctors say. For this reason, the organization was prompted to examine the Environmental Protection Agency data for specific sources of exposure.
The cause of the contamination is unclear
The resulting report, which has now been published, found more exposure to lead compared to other foods, especially in baby foods containing carrots, apple juice and grape juice. The researchers were able to determine how often contamination occurred, but it remains to be seen what caused this contamination.
How high was the exposure to the toxic metal?
The contamination in baby food affected 89 percent of grape juice products, 55 percent of apple juice and 44 percent of carrot juice. This clearly shows how often juices are contaminated with lead.
How does lead get into food?
Lead comes into our food mainly through contaminated soil. The processing probably also plays a role, say the experts. It can be assumed that baby food is simply processed more, which increases the burden. Further research on possible sources of contamination is now urgently needed. (as)