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Your kid’s fave juice might have some toxic ingredients, according to new tests from Consumer Reports (CR).
Of the 45 juices tested, nearly half were found to have elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead (causes high blood pressure, fertility issues and heart disease), mercury, inorganic arsenic (leads to cardiovascular disease) and cadmium (increases risk of bone damage and kidney disease).
Twenty-two apple, 13 blended, seven grape and three pear juices were tested. Brands included 365 Everyday Value by Whole Foods, Capri Sun, Gerber, Great Value by Walmart, Honest Kids, Juicy Juice, Market Pantry by Target, Minute Maid, Mott’s, Nature’s Own, Trader Joe’s and Welch’s. Every single product had measurable levels of at least one of the four metals.
Seven of the 21 juices that were found to have concerning levels of cadmium, arsenic and/or lead could harm children who drink a ½ cup a day, and nine of them at 1 cup a day.
The scariest part? More than 80 percent of parents give their kids ages 3 and under juice, and 74 percent of them serve it once a day or more, according to a national CR survey of 3,002 parents.
When kids are exposed to heavy metals, depending on length of exposure and how much they’re exposed to, it can lead to type 2 diabetes, cancer, behavioral issues like ADHD and lower IQs. This isn’t the first time common products have been found to have these metals, either: baby food, rice, fish, yams and protein powder have all been found to have elevated levels, too.
But kids aren’t the only ones at risk. Metals are less dangerous for adults than kids, but they can still suffer from bladder, lung and skin cancers, type 2 diabetes, reproductive complications and cognitive problems as a result of many years of modest exposure. Five of the juices tested in the study were found to be dangerous to adults at just four ounces a day, while five more pose a risk at eight ounces and up.
Oh, and for you organic shoppers: Organic juices didn’t have lower levels of the metals than conventional ones.
Scroll down on CR’s report to see which brands are better alternatives, and which were found to be the most potentially harmful.