Report: Concerning levels of arsenic, lead found in juice

Published: Jan. 30, 2019 at 6:01 AM MST
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A new warning over what exactly is in your child's fruit juice -- and the sugar is the least of your worries.

New testing from Consumer Reports has found concerning levels of heavy metals -- arsenic, lead, cadmium -- in nearly half of the juices it tested.

This includes juices marketed specifically for children.

According to

, Consumer Reports tested three samples from 45 juices, with the samples purchased from different retailers across the country.

Twenty-four national, store and private-label brands were represented: 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods), Apple & Eve, Big Win (Rite Aid), Capri Sun, Clover Valley (Dollar General), Great Value (Walmart), Gerber, Good2Grow, Gold Emblem (CVS), Goya, Honest Kids, Juicy Juice, Looza, Market Pantry (Target), Minute Maid, Mott’s, Nature’s Own, Ocean Spray, Old Orchard, R.W. Knudsen, Simply Balanced (Target), Trader Joe’s, Tree Top, and Welch’s.

Based on their findings, Consumer Reports says 21 products contained enough of a single heavy metal or combination to reach a level that their experts believe is concerning. Of that 21, some are relatively safe if less than a cup (8 ounces) is consumed a day. Seven juices showed a potential risk if a half-cup or more is consumed daily, and five juice boxes showed a risk if more than one a day is consumed.

Consumer Reports cautions that the results are not meant to be used to draw definitive conclusions about brands. The testing involved specific juices from each brand.

Full results including juices tested can be found

by scrolling down towards the bottom of the page.

What can parents do?

It's still OK to give your child juice, but set limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages 1-3 consume no more than 4 ounces of juice daily; for 4 to 6-year-olds, 6 ounces; 7 years old and up, 8 ounces.

Water and milk are always better alternatives than juice -- and that goes for teens and adults too.

AMONG THE FINDINGS (Source: Consumer Reports):

• Every product had measurable levels of at least one of these heavy metals: cadmium, inorganic arsenic, lead, or mercury.

• Twenty-one (47 percent) of the 45 juices had concerning levels of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, and/or lead. (None contained concerning levels of mercury.)

• Seven of those 21 juices could harm children who drink 4 ounces (½ cup) or more a day; nine of them pose risks to kids at 8 ounces (1 cup) or more a day.

• Five of the products with elevated levels are juice boxes or pouches ranging from 4 to 6.75 ounces. These pose a risk to a child who drinks more than one box or pouch per day.

• Ten of the juices pose a risk to adults: five of them at 4 ounces or more a day, and five at 8 ounces or more a day.

• Grape juice and juice blends had the highest average heavy metal levels.

• Juice brands marketed for children did not fare better or worse than other juices.

• Organic juices did not have lower levels of heavy metals than conventional ones.