Last week, California ruled out lead warnings to be unnecessary when it comes to baby food. A tentative ruling by Judge Steven Brick allows big corporate manufacturers not to stamp any lead warning label on their baby food products.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, exposure to lead can trigger not only learning disabilities, but hyperactivity and sluggishness. This leads into reading problems, hearing loss and more. Most kids are exposed to lead surfacing from water, soil and other environmental toxins. The Center of Disease Control recommends that all children be screened for lead exposure. Tests can be completed by any public health agency. CDC states on their website that at least 6 percent of all children, ages 1-5 years, have toxic levels of lead in their systems.
The lawsuit under Proposition 65, filed by Environmental Law Foundation, a California non-profit organization launched in 1991, claims big corporate companies like Beechnut, Dole, DelMonte and Gerber have unsafe levels of lead in their products and such should be labeled. Proposition 65, the “right to know” law passed in 1986 determines that lead exposure is considered a serious reproductive toxin. Scientists, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, also concur that there is no safe level of lead. Infants and fetuses are at the greatest risk. Attorneys for the baby food giants claim lead in their food products is not from additives, but is “naturally occurring” therefore there is no need for labels.
California’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Department strive to maintain lead-free environments where children can fully achieve their potential. The branch reaches out with hefty goals such as:
- Keeping public well informed
- Maintaining well supported and local programs
- Monitoring and tracking lead burdened children
Lead elevated blood levels in a child is considered 5 micrograms, according to the CDC. To prevent childhood lead exposure:
- Eat a wholesome, healthy diet
- Watch for peeling paint, plaster and paint chips
- Keep outdoor soil and indoor dust to a minimum
Lead found in baby food has been from carrots, peaches and sweet potatoes. Lead can travel through pipes seeping into drinking water. Lead is present in the air we breath. It doesn’t break down easily. Smoke, alcohol and cosmetics are other areas where lead is found. Lead is regulated by the EPA who are watch dogs for contaminants in drinking water.
Environmental Law Foundation
Center of Disease Control
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry