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As If the Sugar Wasn't Bad Enough! Now Lead is Poisoning Our Candy-Eating Latino Kids

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:13pm

Consuming lots of candies with sugar certainly offers enough dangers as it is.

But now Mexicans living in California are getting lead poisoning at alarming rates due to kids ingesting toxic treats from their native land -- tamarind candies, lollipops dipped in chile powder and, among Oaxacans, dried grasshoppers tossed with lime, garlic, chiles and salt.

So reports Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle today in an eye-opening article, "Effort to remove lead form Mexican treats: Candies, chiles, dried grasshoppers can poison children."

Jones writes about this outbreak of lead poisoning that has alarmed doctors and public health officials, who've now launched an aggressive campaign to warn Latinos in the Bay Area and beyond to the problem.

Why the concern?

Well, kids chomping on these candies can get astronomical levels of lead, and this lead poisoning can can have horrifying consequences, as the San Francisco Chronicle points out. It can:

  • Lower IQ
  • Stunt growth
  • Damage kidneys
  • Cause seizures and even
  • Kill its victims

"The scale of the epidemic is staggering," Jones reports.

"At least 75 percent of new cases of lead poisoning in California are among Latino children, according to state figures."

If you know anyone consuming these alleged treats, please spread the word about these dangers.

The catch is this, Jones points out: "Lead poisoning is hard to detect because its initial symptoms -- irritability, fatigue and weight loss -- often are attributed to other causes."

Read the full article here.

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