Report on Lead in Juice and Baby Foods- Cause for Concern?

Report on Lead in Juice and Baby Foods- Cause for Concern?

I recently received a question regarding a report about lead in baby and children's foods.
Here was my response to the parent:

Dear Parent,

Thanks for your inquiry regarding the disturbing article on lead being in children's juices and baby foods, http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=470720

The article refers to an organization that measured the level of lead in various juices and purees fed to infants and children.  They found levels that exceeded the level set as safe.

The study raises the most important question in toxicology:  what levels of exposure to a dangerous chemical are safe?  And its corollary, if that level of exposure is exceeded, when and how does damage occur?  That is, if the line is crossed even a tiny bit, does harm occur; or, do harmful events start happening only at double, triple, or 10 times the "safe level," and does the level at which bad things happen vary from child to child.

The article you sent gives no indication if the lead levels seen in sold foods actually hurt anyone, or achieved levels of exposure that can lead to actual harm.

My conclusions, therefore, are:
1.  It is very upsetting to see lead leak into what one would think would be a lead-free product.
2.  I urgently want to know how high the level of lead got, and whether these levels are indeed actually seen to cause real harm.
3.  And, if so, work hard to eliminate the lead from these foods.

Dr. Lavin*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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