A study that analyzed samples of baby food found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of baby food samples.
The toxic metal was most commonly detected in grape, apple and root (think sweet potato and carrot) juices and teething biscuit cookies. Children with elevated blood levels are more likely to have learning difficulties, lower IQs and speech delays, according to USA Today.
‘A lot of harm’
Low levels were found in the study by the Environmental Defense Fund. It analyzed 11 years of federal data, in which samples of food from around the country is tested for nutrients and contaminants. The study looked at 2,163 baby food samples.
“No child gets high levels of lead from food alone,” said Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director for the 50-year-old nonpartisan, non-profit advocacy group.
“But low levels of lead cause a lot of harm to kids across the country,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their recommendation in 2012 to say that no level is safe for children’s blood lead levels.
Effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected, the CDC said.
While lead is found naturally in soil, study researchers noted that some lead comes from decades of use of lead-arsenate pesticides and air deposition from burning leaded gasoline and industrial sources.
The FDA said in a statement that it is reevaluating the analytical methods it uses for determining when it should take action with respect to measured levels of lead in particular foods, including those consumed by infants and toddlers.