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Consumer Reports tested 45 different juices on the market and found elevated levels of heavy metals — cadmium, lead, mercury and inorganic arsenic — in 21 of them, according to a new report. Seven of the juices could be harmful to children who drink more than a half cup a day, while nine may be hazardous to kids who drink 1 cup a day or more.
The group tested a sample of different fruit juices — name brands, store brands, juices in boxes and pouches for kids, organic and conventional. All of them had some degree of heavy metal residue, the study found. There was no appreciable difference between the different varieties, except grape and juice blends tended to have the highest level of heavy metal residue.
Similar tests were done by Consumer Reports in 2011, and most juices showed improvements in heavy metal levels this year. Some were dramatic. For example, the amount of inorganic arsenic in Gerber’s 100% Apple Juice went down 79%, and lead in the product was reduced by 97%. Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Consumer Reports this could be the result of more companies paying attention to their “supply chain, from orchard to store, to figure out where the contamination is happening.”