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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Juice May Contain Arsenic and Lead

A new Consumer Reports investigation suggests that high levels of arsenic and lead may be in some juices.

Arsenic is a semi-metallic naturally-occurring chemical. Arsenic is in the environment and all individuals are all exposed to small doses on a regular basis. Arsenic poisoning is difficult to detect as it is generally odorless and flavorless, meaning people have little idea when it is around. Lead exposure is especially harmful to fetuses or young children, as it may adversely affect brain and nervous system development.

Consumer Reports tested apple and grape juice from a variety of popular brands. According to the report, approximately 10 percent of juice samples from five brands had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards.

One in four samples had lead levels higher than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) bottled-water limit of five parts per billion. Currently, no federal limit exists for arsenic or lead levels in juice.

The FDA issued a statement emphasizing that they are "confident" in the safety of juices in the United States, adding that most tested juices contain low levels of arsenic. Further research is necessary.

For more information about arsenic or lead poisoning, please visit Natural Standard's Environment & Global Health Database.

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