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Arsenic in Fruit Juice Exceeds U.S. Federal Drinking-Water Standard

Posted Jan 26 2012 12:00am
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Arsenic conjers up images of rat poison and soap opera poisonings. The truth is that arsenic does occur naturally in water. It is in the creeks and spring where I live. The EPA regulates how much arsenic is safe for drinking water:

Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.

Non-cancer effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. Arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.

EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion) to protect consumers served by public water systems from the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to arsenic. Water systems must comply with this standard by January 23, 2006, providing additional protection to an estimated 13 million Americans.

Dr. Mercola reports:

Ten percent of the 88 juice samples tested by Consumer Reports had arsenic levels exceeding the U.S. federal drinking-water standard. A quarter of them also had lead levels higher than the 5 ppb limit set for bottled water…

There are currently no official limits set for arsenic in juices, but according to a 2008 FDA hazard assessment, 23 ppb of inorganic arsenic would represent “a potential health risk.” However, the Consumers Union (the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports) has warned that this level should NOT be used as a reference point for establishing a safety limit, because it does not take into account the now well-established carcinogenicity of inorganic arsenic.

The group has proposed the FDA set the limit for arsenic at three ppba far cry from the FDA’s stated “level of concern.”

The FDA has responded to the Consumers Union, indicating that the agency is considering creating a guidance for the permissible level of arsenic in apple juice. In a  November 21 letter to the Empire State Consumer Project , the agency states it will collect and analyze up to 90 retail juice samples from across the US by the end of this year. However, the FDA already has data on arsenic in fruit juices. They’ve been sampling juices for several years, as part of the Total Diet Study (TDS). The results can be  found on the FDA’s website .

In their letter, the FDA states “FDA monitoring has found that total arsenic levels in apple juice are typically low.” But is it low enough to protect public health?

Consumer Reports issues the following concerns:

Healthy Child Healthy World asked last month “ Is there arsenic in my kid’s apple juice? “.  Unfortunately, the answer is most likely yes. Consumer Reports is continuing to raise this issue.

I think we should do more juicing from our own apple trees.

Via: Organic Consumers Association

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