Nearly half of the 45 brand name apple, grape and pear juices, as well as juice blends, tested by Consumer Reports showed high levels of arsenic and lead. Photo by Tyler Olson/Shutterstock
Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Testing by Consumer Reports reveals concerning levels of arsenic and lead, in addition to unhealthy levels of sugar, according to a report published Wednesday.
CR said half of the 45 brand name apple, grape and pear juices it tested have high levels of the metals, suggesting parents should give their children less of the beverages.
"In some cases, drinking just 4 ounces a day -- or half a cup -- is enough to raise concern," James Dickerson, chief scientific officer at Consumer Report, said in a news release.
Heavy metals can lower the IQ levels of children and put them at risk for behavioral problems, cancer and type 2 diabetes, according to CR.
"Exposure to these metals early on can affect their whole life trajectory," said Jennifer Lowry, chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Environmental Health. "There is so much development happening in their first years of life."
Lead can also cause problems with adults, including bladder, lung and skin cancer, in addition to reproductive problems.
More than 70 percent of kids age three and under drink fruit juice, according to the survey.
This news comes as studies show kids prefer juice drinks over milk and other beverages, though another showed that water is the beverage most preferred by children.
The lead guideline set by the FDA for juice is 50 parts per billion, 10 times higher than the amount in bottled water.
"Some foods are more likely than others to contain toxic heavy metals, and it's important to minimize these foods in your family's meals," says Amy Keating, a nutritionist at CR. "This is yet another reason to provide your child with a healthy and varied diet of whole foods."