Popular Fruit Drinks Contain Arsenic & Lead
For decades, fruit juice has been marketed as a healthy beverage, especially for children. Although it is filled with Vitamin C and other healthy minerals, fruit drinks also contain an immense amount of sugar and calories.
But according to recent testing by Consumer Reports (CR), many fruit juices adults and kids alike enjoy also contain potentially harmful amounts of arsenic, lead, and cadmium. The non-profit organization performed tests on 45 fruit drinks that are popular in the United States and discovered elevated levels of heavy metals, which is short-term for all those elements combined.
Long-term consumption of these heavy metals can result in type 2 diabetes, cancer, lowered IQ, behavioral issues, and other health concerns among children. In previous tests, CR found increased levels of heavy metals in other children’s foods, such as protein powder, rice and rice products, sweet potatoes, and some types of fish.
While adults are less affected by heavy medals, continuous exposure can lead to various health conditions. Cardiovascular disease can be caused by arsenic. Lead can result in heart disease, high blood pressure, and fertility issues. Kidney disease and bone damage derive from chronic exposure to cadmium.
The following are the results of the Consumer Reports research involving 24 national brands:
- At least one the heavy metals (lead, inorganic arsenic, cadmium, or mercury) was found in each product.
- Out of the 45 juices, 21 (47 percent) of them had concerning levels of heavy metals.
- Seven of those 21 drinks are harmful to children who consume ½ cup (four ounces) or more a day.
- Nine of those 21 drinks are harmful to children who consume one cup (eight ounces) or more a day.
- Ten of the juices are harmful to adults: five at eight ounces or more a day, and five at four ounces or more a day.
- Grape juice and juice blends contained the highest levels of heavy metals.
- Organic juices contained the same amount of heavy metals a regular juice.
Keep in mind, these heavy metals can be found in our natural environment, specifically in the air, water, and soil. However, heavy metals can also be found in pesticides, pollution, mining, and other human activities.
These pesticides were once often used by fruit orchards—but are not highly restricted in the United States. Since CR’s previous tests, levels of heavy metals in fruit juices have experienced a decline, although they are still present.
Parents can reduce their children’s exposure to heavy metals by limiting the amount of fruit juice they consume. According to recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should not allow children under one year old to drink any fruit juice. Children between ages one and three should consume a daily maximum of four ounces, children between ages four and six should consume a daily maximum of six ounces, and children ages seven and older should only drink a daily maximum of eight ounces.
The fruit juice products which contain concerning amounts of heavy metals include:
- Minute Maid 100% Juice – Apple White Grape
- Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice
- Minute Maid 100% Juice – Fruit Punch
- Great Value (Walmart) 100% Apple Juice
- Great Value (Walmart) 100% Juice – Cranberry Grape
- Gold Emblem (CVS) 100% Apple Juice
- Gold Emblem (CVS) 100% Grape Juice
- Trader Joe’s Organic Apple Juice
- Trader Joe’s Fresh Pressed Apple Juice – 100% Juice
- Trader Joe’s Organic Apple Grape Juice
- Trader Joe’s Joe’s Kids Apple Juice
- Gerber White Grape Juice
- 365 Every Value (Whole Foods) Organic 100% Juice – Concord Grape
- 365 Every Value (Whole Foods) Organic 100% Juice – Grape Cranberry
- Juicy Juice 100% Juice – White Grape
- Juicy Juice 100% Juice – Fruit Punch
- R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Concord Grape Juice
- Welch’s 100% Grape Juice – Concord Grape
- Welch’s 100% Grape Juice – White Grape
- Welch’s 100% Juice with Antioxidant Superberry
- Mott’s 100% Juice – Apple White Grape