(WXYZ) – Over 2,000 baby food samples were collected by the FDA between 2003 and 2013. None of the levels of lead found in the baby foods that were tested exceeded the allowable levels. But the concern is how much a child may consume over time. And that could be significant.
Lead was found in fruit juices showing up in 89 percent of grape juice samples. It was also in root vegetables like carrots and showed up in 86 percent of sweet potatoes samples. And lastly the toxic metal was detected in 47% of teething biscuits samples.
Lead is highly toxic and can harm or kill developing brain cells in babies. It affects one’s ability to pay attention, and cause problems with the immune system and cardiovascular systems. The Center for Disease Control has said that low levels of lead can affect IQ and academic success. Sadly, we cannot correct or reverse the damage from lead exposure.
- Help minimize a child’s lead exposure by having them eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- A healthy diet can help reduce lead absorption so serve foods rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C.
- Any child under the age of one does not need fruit juice. Children older than one should limit how much they drink.
- Caregivers can contact baby food brands and ask that their products be lead-free.
It’s not clear how lead is showing up in baby food. But the FDA says lead can come from our environment, getting absorbed by food crops planted in contaminated soil. Baby food is also processed more so there’s a possibility that processing could play a role. More research is certainly needed.
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