Consumer Reports: Arsenic and Lead Are in Your Fruit Juice, What You Need to Know
By Jesse Hirsch
Fruit juice’s health halo has slipped in recent years, mainly because it packs a lot of sugar and calories. But there’s another, lesser-known health risk with these juices: They may also contain potentially harmful levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead, according to new tests from Consumer Reports.
CR tested 45 popular fruit juices sold across the country—including apple, grape, pear, and fruit blends—and found elevated levels of those elements, commonly known as heavy metals, in almost half of them, including juices marketed for children.
Our test focused on cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic (the type most harmful to health) because they pose some of the greatest risks, and prior research suggests they are common in food and drink.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of heavy metals. “Exposure to these metals early on can affect their whole life trajectory,” says Jennifer Lowry, M.D., chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health, as well as director of clinical pharmacology, toxicology, and therapeutic innovations at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “There is so much development happening in their first years of life.”
The harmful effects of heavy metals are well-documented. Depending on how long children are exposed to these toxins and how much they are exposed to, they may be at risk for lowered IQ, behavioral problems (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), type 2 diabetes, and cancer, among other health issues.
Though the risks of heavy metals from any one source may be low, when people are exposed to even small amounts from multiple sources, over time the danger multiplies.
Read the full story via Consumer Reports
Learn more about Pharmacology and Toxicology at Children's Mercy