CBS Local– The Environmental Defense Fund has studied 11 years of data and has released some disconcerting findings: 20 percent of more than 2,000 baby food samples contained detectable levels of lead, typically fruit juices and root vegetables.
Lead is detrimental to the development of children, like attention, behavior and the immune and cardiovascular systems.
“Lead can have a number of effects on children and it’s especially harmful during critical windows of development,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, via CNN. “The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure.”
The FDA released a statement in response to the report:
“The FDA is continuing to work with industry to further limit the amount of lead in foods to the greatest extent feasible, especially in foods frequently consumed by children. The agency is in the process of 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.”
The report is a nudge to the FDA to hope to heighten lead-related standards quicker. The FDA says they’re working on it.
“In many American communities, the most significant route of lead exposure is from paint and soil,” Bole said. “Avoiding all sources of exposure of lead poisoning is incredibly important … but the last thing I would want is for a parent to restrict their child’s diet or limit their intake of healthy food groups.”