Detectable levels of lead found in baby food, new report shows

Nation and World News

A startling new report finds detectable levels of lead in baby food.

It’s a finding that may concern parents, but experts say it’s important to stay vigilant about bigger sources of lead poisoning in kids

Crumbling, peeling paint in older homes is one of the nation’s biggest sources of lead exposure.

It’s an issue Dr. Aparna Bole always brings up when she sees patients at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

The pediatrician says the only safe amount of lead for children is zero.

“Lead can have an impact on the developing brain,” Bole says. “It can have consequences later in life when it comes to issues around attention, behavior.”

Now, there’s evidence of another, more minor source of lead exposure — baby food.

“That included fruit juices, baby fruit juices, root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and some categories of cookies like arrowroot biscuits and teething cookies,” according to Sarah Vogel with the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Environmental Defense Fund explored data from the Food and Drug Administration finding what it calls “Detectable” levels of lead in some baby food. Though there’s no information about how much or which brands are involved.

Some samples had no lead at all.

The FDA says the administration set a maximum daily lead intake six micrograms.

Why not zero? The FDA website says “Lead is in food because it is in the environment and lead cannot simply be removed from food.”

Doctors discourage parents from worrying too much about lead in baby food.

“I certainly would not recommend avoiding entire food groups because of a concern about lead exposure,” Bole added. “Root vegetables are a really healthy choice for babies.”

Parents can make their own baby food… Use local produce when possible… And speak to their pediatricians about the best ways to avoid lead.

The FDA is currently reviewing that six microgram level of lead.

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