The Oakland-based Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) says that testing shows high levels of the toxic chemical lead in a variety of children’s juices and baby foods.
In response to those tests, ELF has filed Notices of Violation of California Proposition 65 Toxics Right to Know law. The notices assert that lead levels in just one serving of these food products are high enough to put kids over the daily exposure limits, and to require a warning under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 or “Proposition 65”.
Under Prop. 65, manufacturers and retailers must give a “clear and reasonable warning” about chemical exposure in any consumer product that contains cancer-causing ingredients listed on a list published by the Governor.
The revelations about lead concentrations in children's products are “alarming,” says Toxicologist Barbara G. Callahan, PhD, DABT, of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a noted specialist in public health and environmental risk assessment.
Scientists agree that there is no safe level of exposure to lead, as lead builds up in the body from many exposures and sources over time.
Dr. Callahan notes that "lead exposure among children is a particular concern because their developing bodies absorb lead at a higher rate and because children are particularly sensitive to lead’s toxic effects, including decreased I.Q.”
The ELF findings cover entire food categories, including apple juice, grape juice, packaged pears and peaches, baby food, and fruit cocktail.
The findings affects dozens of manufacturers and products, including Gerber, Hansens', Martinelli's, R. W. Knudsen, Safeway, Santa Cruz Organic, Trader Joe's, Tree Top, Walgreen's and Walnut Acres, among others.