Lead in Food

  • Irene Kessel
  • John T. O’Connor


The amount of lead in our food has decreased drastically in recent years. The levels of lead that an infant or child was exposed to in food in the early 1990s were only about 10% of those seen just 10 years earlier.1


Fruit Juice Lead Poisoning Bone Meal Lead Silicate Wine Bottle 
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    U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, “Reducing Exposure to Lead from Ceramic Ware,” FDA Backgrounder (undated); Federal Register 58 (21 June 1993): 33865.Google Scholar
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    Judith E. Foulke, “Toddler’s Blood Test Leads to Juice Recall,” FDA Consumer (Dec. 1992): 41-42.Google Scholar
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    Bernard P. Bourgoin et al., “Lead Content in 70 Brands of Dietary Calcium Supplements,” American Journal of Public Health 83 (1993): 1155–1160. Refer to article for amount of lead in specific calcium supplements.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Beatrice Trum Hunter, “Dietary Lead: Problems and Solutions,” Consumers’ Research (May 1992): 21-22.Google Scholar
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    These items are considered adulterated and so prohibited if they leach more than 0.5 ppm of lead. Large ceramic bowls may leach up to 1 ppm, small bowls up to 2 ppm, and plates and saucers up to 3 ppm. Federal Register 57 (6 July 1992): 29735.Google Scholar
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    Federal Register 59 (12 Jan. 1994): 1638.Google Scholar
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    Federal Register 58 (21 June 1993): 33863.Google Scholar
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    These levels are 80 ppb for fruit juice and 250 ppb for other food products. Federal Register 58 (1 April 1993): 17233.Google Scholar
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    Federal Register 61 (8 Feb. 1996): 4816.Google Scholar
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    Foulke, “Lead Threat Lessens,” 20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Irene Kessel and John T. O’Connor 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Kessel
  • John T. O’Connor

There are no affiliations available

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