Consumer Reports test: Fruit juice contains arsenic, cadmium and lead

Consumer Reports tested 45 popular fruit juices sold across the country—including apple, grape, pear, and fruit blends—and found concerning levels of heavy metals in nearly half of them, including juices marketed for children - who are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of heavy metals.

Persistent exposure to these heavy elements, particularly early in a child’s development can have long standing effects throughout their life; respiratory systems, their neurological systems; their immune systems are all developing, so having those exposures early those ages can have very profound effects.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended limiting amounts of juice, mainly because it contains lots of sugar—but American children still drink a lot of juice. In a recent survey of parents with young children, Consumer Reports found that more than 80% give their kids juice, potentially exposing them to heavy metals.

In CR’s testing, it found seven juices that contain enough heavy metals to potentially harm children who drink four ounces or more per day. An additional nine juices pose risk to kids at eight ounces or more per day. Lastly, CR found five juice boxes that posed a risk to children if they drank more than one per day.

So how did these dangerous compounds get into our juice? Heavy metals are naturally found in the environment, but much of the heavy metals in food come from soil or water that’s been contaminated through pollution, mining or pesticides.

What can you do?

There are a lot of foods out there that have traces of these heavy elements in there. That’s why it’s really important to make sure that you feed your children a broad variety of fruits, vegetables and other whole-foods to ensure that you minimize your exposure.

Of the juice companies that responded to CR’s request for comment, most said they did their own testing and adhered to all government regulations. Some also noted that heavy metals can be naturally occurring.

A full list of results is HERE.

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