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Lead Found in 20% of Baby Food Samples, Especially Juices and Veggies

A disturbing study on lead content in baby foods and juices has U.S. health officials scurrying to examine data looking at specific sources of lead exposure in children, CNN Health reports. The Environmental Defense Fund found detectable lead levels in 20 percent of baby food samples, while research by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could not determine contamination levels. Officials speculated that processing may make the difference, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reiterated there is no safe level of lead.

While the CDC and FDA work to figure out which processed foods might have lead in them, at least 350 schools and day care centers across the U.S. are still testing above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level for lead content in water. This is unconscionable. As the CDC said, lead is a well-recognized neurotoxin. Even the Romans in the second century B.C. understood its dangers. European countries began banning the use of lead in consumer goods in the early 1900s, yet the United States still to this day doesn’t take as firm a stance against it as we should.

And, as we just learned from the baby food studies, lead contamination may be far more widespread than previously realized, whether it’s from municipalities dragging their feet when it comes to replacing old water pipes, or foods grown in soils that are contaminated with heavy metals.

When we’re talking about foods, it’s not just lead we should worry about. Only 15 percent of all food samples tested in 2015 were free from pesticide residues, yet only a year earlier, over 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues on them. With water, atrazine is the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S., and the most common water contaminant. Recent testing also found three neonicotinoid insecticides in treated drinking water

This calls for action on your part. Filter your water at the source in your home, as well as at the faucet. Also choose organic, whole foods for both yourself and children, and consider making your own baby foods with these organic sources. And demand that government officials do their part to end the contamination.
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