Study: “Detectable levels of lead” found in 20 percent of 2,000+ baby food samples

MILWAUKEE — A new report suggests “detectable levels of lead” were found in 20 percent of baby food samples, according to CNN.

Paint chips and contaminated drinking water can lead to lead contamination. A new report suggests baby food could be a problem, too.

According to CNN, the Environmental Defense Fund, in an analysis of 11 years of federal data, found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples. The study shows it was most commonly found in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, and cookies such as teething biscuits.

Lead can cause problems with attention and behavior, cognitive development, the cardiovascular system and immune system.

The samples studied were not identified by brand, and the levels of lead are thought to be relatively low. Still, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no safe blood lead level in children has been identified.

In a draft report released earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that over five percent of children consume more than six micrograms per day of lead — the maximum daily intake level set by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993 — in their diet.

This surprised Tom Neltner, Environmental Defense Fund’s chemicals policy director, who has spent 20 years researching and working to reduce lead exposures. His further analysis of the EPA report was that food is the major source of lead exposure in two-thirds of toddlers.

This spurred the organization to examine data from the FDA’s Total Diet Study for specific sources of exposure for kids. The resulting report was released Thursday, June 15th.

According to the FDA, lead makes its way into food through contaminated soil, but Neltner suspects that processing may also play a role.

“I can’t explain it other than I assume baby food is processed more,” Neltner said.

CLICK HERE for much more on this story via CNN.