Do you know what’s in your baby’s food?
Lead was found in 20% of more than 2,000 baby food samples, compared to 14% in another 10,000 food samples, according to an Environmental Defense Fund analysis of Food and Drug Administration data released Thursday. Lead was most commonly found in fruit juices (89% of grape juice samples and 55% in apple juice samples), sweet potatoes (86% of samples) and teething biscuits (47%). At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of food evaluated had detectable lead and eight types of baby food had lead in 40% of their samples as well.
There’s no safe level of lead, according to the EDF, and yet about 500,000 children have elevated blood lead levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children face the highest risks from blood lead levels, including behavioral problems and lower IQs as they grow.
Adults are also affected by lead consumption — it’s been linked to high blood pressure and kidney damage, according to the World Health Organization. Aside from consuming lead through foods, people can inhale lead particles from lead-contaminated dust and water, as well as cosmetics, medicines and wall paints, the WHO wrote.