Study Finds High Levels Of Arsenic And Lead In Nearly 50 Percent Of Fruit Juices

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A study by Consumer Reports, a non-profit research group, has found high levels of dangerous metals, including arsenic and lead, in nearly 50 percent of the fruit juices they tested.

The study found dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium in 21 of the 45 juices they tested. These included juices that can be bought at places like Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods. They warn that just half a cup of these juices a day could be increasing the level of arsenic in the blood of a child up to dangerous levels.

Furthermore, Consumer Reports has also found that evidence of dangerous metal in other infant foods. This leads them to raise concerns over whether U.S. kids are being exposed to dangerous levels of these metal in multiple food products on a regular basis.

“Each of these metals has shown similar adverse effects on children’s developing brains and nervous systems, and there are potential additive effects,” explained Tunde Akinley, the Consumer Reports chemist who undertook the study.

This is not a new issue. Consumer Reports first looked at the issue of dangerous metals in fruit juices as far back as 2013. Their investigation then led to the FDA investigating whether or not to puts limits on the amounts of lead and arsenic in juice.

Such a limit does already exist on drinking water, which must not contain more than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic and five ppb of lead. There are lead limits in juice, which is set at 50 ppb, but there is currently no such limit on arsenic.

This latest study found that, overall, the amount of dangerous metals in juices had declined. But they still identified seven juices which they cautioned could cause harm to children if they were to drink more than four ounces a day. That is the equivalent of about half a cup.

Those juices are Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice, 100% Juice; 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods) Organic 100% Juice, Concord Grape; R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Concord Grape Juice; Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, Concord Grape; Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, With Grape; Great Value (Walmart) 100% Juice, Cranberry Grape; and Welch’s 100% Juice with Antioxidant Superberry.

The findings are likely to affect a high proportion of American parents. Consumer Reports estimates that more than 80 percent of parents give children age 3 and younger fruit juice on occasion with 74 percent allowing their kids to drink it at least once a day. Any parents that do so are advised to research the juice they buy and limit the amount they give to their kids.