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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new report says some popular fruit juices may contain heavy metals that might be dangerous, especially for children. The metals found in juice are substances that make their way into food because they occur naturally in the air, water and soil, but they can also wind up in food during manufacturing and packaging.
Stephanie Trilling says she tries to keep her 4-year-old daughter away from juice, mostly because of its sugar content.
“It’s not something I want to give to my kids, but I also don’t want to be that mom who is restricting everything,” said Trilling.
The mother may have another reason to restrict juice intake as a new analysis from Consumer Reports tested 45 different juices for four heavy metal substances: inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. They found that every single product contained a measurable amount of at least one heavy metal, except for mercury.
Twenty-one of the samples contained one or a combination of heavy metals that reached a level Consumer Reports’ researchers deemed concerning for daily consumption.
The CDC says long-term exposure to heavy metals may put people at risk for kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, damaged ability to learn and certain types of cancer.
“The science is telling us increasingly that there are particular time points in life when even a small amount of exposure, for example, can disrupt hormones and thereby contribute to disease,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the director of environmental pediatrics.
The Juice Products Association, whose board of directors includes PepsiCo, Welch’s and other juice brands whose products were tested, said they haven’t seen the full study but called the results “unfounded,” and added they are committed to providing “safe and nutritious” products that meet FDA standards.
They also said there is “no scientific evidence” indicating that trace levels of heavy metals have caused any negative health outcomes.
Consumer Reports says their findings are a “spot check” and “should not be used to draw definitive conclusions about specific brands.”
The juice companies say their products are safe and follow all food safety guidelines.
The FDA had no comment on the report.