Feature

Health scare of the week: Toxins in apple juice

A study by Consumer Reports shows that popular grocery-store brands of apple and grape juices contain elevated levels of arsenic and lead.

Many popular apple and grape juices contain arsenic and lead at levels that could be dangerous to children, a study by Consumer Reports shows. The magazine tested 31 popular grocery-store brands and found that one in 10 samples had arsenic levels higher than the Food and Drug Administration’s limit for bottled water; elevated levels of lead were also found in a fourth of the samples. The FDA previously suggested that juice could safely contain nearly five times the arsenic found in bottled water, because most people drink less of it. But Jerome Paulson of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells NPR.org that those standards aren’t adequate since kids “are known to consume more juice per pound of body weight than adults.”

The findings have prompted the FDA to consider setting much stricter juice standards for both arsenic and lead. Meanwhile, experts urge parents to limit their children’s consumption of fruit juices to avoid increasing their risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

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