Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Toxic Levels of Arsenic Found in Popular Juice Brands

How much arsenic is too much? Federal limits don’t exist.

As you know, arsenic is a poison, and there are big concerns about arsenic in popular fruit juices that you may be drinking.
The investigation reports that10 percent of juice samples, from five brands, had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards. Most of that arsenic was inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen.

Juice from bottles, cans, and juice boxes tested.

Five samples of apple juice and four of grape juice had total arsenic levels exceeding the 10 ppb federal limit for bottled and drinking water. Levels in the apple juices ranged from 1.1 to 13.9 ppb, and grape-juice levels were even higher, 5.9 to 24.7 ppb.

As for lead, about one fourth of all juice samples had levels at or above the 5-ppb limit for bottled water.


The following brands had at least one sample of apple juice that exceeded 10 ppb:

Apple & Eve
Great Value (Walmart)

And the following brands had one or more samples of apple juice that exceeded 5 ppb of lead:

America’s Choice (A&P)
Gold Emblem (CVS)
Great Value
Joe’s Kids (Trader Joe’s)
Minute Maid


For grape juice, at least one sample from Walgreens and Welch’s exceeded 10 ppb. At least one sample of grape juice exceeding 5 ppb of lead came from:

Gold Emblem (CVS)

Arsenic-tainted soil in U.S. orchards is a likely source of contamination for apples, and finding lead with arsenic in juices that we tested is not surprising. Even with a ban on lead-arsenate insecticides, “we are finding problems with some Washington state apples, not because of irresponsible farming practices now but because lead-arsenate pesticides that were used here decades ago remain in the soil,” says Denise Wilson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Washington who has tested apple juices and discovered elevated arsenic levels even in brands labeled organic.