High Levels of Arsenic Found in Fruit Juice - FamilyEducation

High Levels of Arsenic Found in Fruit Juice

December 09,2011

Grape and apple juice are supposed to be a healthier alternative to soda, right?

Maybe. But the juice your child is drinking might have serious consequences on his health down the road.

According to a new study by Consumer Reports, the grape and apple juice your child is drinking may contain higher levels of arsenic than are allowed in federal drinking water.

Current FDA guidelines require that water have no more than 10 parts per billion (ppb) of inorganic arsenic. Juices, on the other hand, are allowed 23 ppb, based on the fact that it's is assumed a person will drink more water during the day than juice.

(Obviously, their basis of daily water consumption is based on an average person's height and weight. But what about a smaller, lighter child?)

While the study didn't find any samples that exceeded the limit set for juices, 10 percent of the juices tested exceeded what is considered safe in drinking water.

Scientists who conducted this study believe the results underscore the need to have a set standard for the amount of arsenic allowed in juices.

Consuming high levels of arsenic most likely won't have an immediate adverse effect on a child's health, but over time, it can accumulate in his or her body, increasing the risk of cancer and other serious illnesses.

This isn't the first time arsenic levels in juice have been put in the spotlight. In September 2011, Dr. Mehmet Oz reported the same results in a study he commissioned and announced the results on his popular television show. The FDA called his claims flawed and "extremely irresponsible."

In response to the newest data reported by Consumer Reports, the FDA responded that they are confident the overall safety of apple and grape juice is safe in our country. In the small percentage of juices that do contain higher levels of arsenic, they said they will increase surveillance and collect additional data.

Will these findings make you think twice about giving your child fruit juice? Do you already avoid giving your child juice, anyway? Or do you think these findings aren't anything to worry about? Tell us what you think!