Be careful of which candies you eat, too many have lead as toxic as sweet
Due to a large number of internationally made and American-sold candies testing positive for the hazardous metal lead, the above rhyme may very well be the warning parents and children alike recite this Halloween.
Halloween is the national holiday with the highest consumption of sweets and greatest sales for candy producers and stores. Since 2004, investigations done by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the Orange County Register have found over 112 types of candies—many of them from Mexico—that have dangerously high levels of lead. Most recently, the CEH released a report exposing Chinese ginger and plum candies that contain over 60 times the FDA-accepted limit of lead.
According to the CEH, lead exposure causes “lowered intelligence, behaviour problems, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, anaemia, cavities and delayed puberty” for children and adults, in addition to “disturbing delivery and development of pregnant women’s new-borns.”
There are several possible origins for the lead found in candies: the candies themselves may contain lead from the outdoor drying, storage and grinding methods; lead-ink bleed onto candies from packaging; candies made of tamarind, chili powder or salt contain ingredients are mined where there are higher levels of lead.
The website for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) shows the recalled, lead-laden candies come in a variety of forms and flavors: chewable, hard, liquids, gels and powder as well as sweet, spicy and fruit. Some candy packages from the past have popular characters such as Transformers, Bart Simpson and Superman.
It’s important to know where your candy is coming from.
CDPH recommends avoiding consumption of sweets from Mexico, Asia, and also some from Australia and America. You can find a complete list of toxic candies with photos here: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/data/Documents/ fdbLiCLiC07.pdf
For more information visit: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/LeadFAQ.aspx, http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/CLPPB/Documents/CLPPB-SimpleSteps(E).pdf, http://www2.ocregister.com/investigations/2004/lead/