The FDA allows a certain amount of toxins in our food and water supply, but the history of regulation is one of constant reduction in levels
I don't often write about pesticides, plasticizers, heavy metals, or other such potentially toxic substances in food because there usually isn't enough science available to draw firm conclusions about how much of them is OK to consume.
At high concentrations they are demonstrably toxic. But in food and water, they appear in amounts measured as parts per billion (ppb) or trillion, and it is difficult to know how harmful they may be at such levels.
The big question: Is there a threshold for harm or are they unsafe at any level of intake? The history of regulation of such substances is one of constant reduction in levels considered safe.
They derive in large part from industrial processes, and attempting to regulate them confronts large and powerful industries eager to argue that low levels are safe.
- 10 percent of the samples contained levels of arsenic that exceed EPA drinking-water standards of 10 ppb.
- 25 percent contained levels of lead greater than the FDA's 5 ppb standard for bottled water.
- Most arsenic was inorganic, a form linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and type 2 diabetes.
- 35 percent of children age five and younger drink juice in amounts higher than recommended by pediatricians.
- No federal standards exist for amounts of lead and arsenic in juice.