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Lead in Food

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Food NameLead
Beer, ale0.0
Beer, bitter0.0
Beer, lager0.0
Beer, draught0.0
Wine, white, dry style (sugars content < 1%)1.8
Wine, white, medium dry style (~ 1% sugars)1.8
Wine, white, medium sweet style (~ 2.5% sugars)1.8
Tea, regular, brewed from leaf or teabags, without milk0.3
Water, tap0.6
Beverage base, chocolate flavour, added minerals calcium & iron & vitamins A, B1, B2, C & D0.4
Beverage, chocolate flavour, from base (Milo), with regular fat milk0.0
Soft drink, energy drink0.0
Juice, orange, added vitamin c0.0
Juice, orange, sweetened, no added vitamin C0.0
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Lead

information from the National Institutes of Health

Lead is a highly toxic metal found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. Because of its abundance, low cost, and physical properties, lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products including paint, ceramics, pipes, solders, gasoline, batteries, and cosmetics.

Since 1980, federal and state regulatory standards have helped to minimize or eliminate the amount of lead in consumer products and occupational settings. Today, the most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are lead-based paint in older homes, contaminated soil, household dust, drinking water, lead crystal, and lead-glazed pottery.

While extreme lead exposure can cause a variety of neurological disorders such as lack of muscular coordination, convulsions and coma, much lower lead levels have been associated with measurable changes in children’s mental development and behavior. These include hyperactivity; deficits in fine motor function, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time; and lowered performance on intelligence tests. Chronic lead exposure in adults can result in increased blood pressure, decreased fertility, cataracts, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory or concentration problems.

Lead Poisoning

Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth's crust. People have spread it through the environment in many ways. Lead used to be in paint and gasoline. Lead can still be found in contaminated soil, household dust, drinking water, lead-glazed pottery and some metal jewelry.

Breathing air, drinking water, eating food or swallowing or touching dirt that contains lead can cause many health problems. In adults, lead can increase blood pressure and cause infertility, nerve disorders and muscle and joint pain. It can also make you irritable and affect your ability to concentrate and remember.

Lead is especially dangerous for children. A child who swallows large amounts of lead may develop anemia, severe stomachache, muscle weakness and brain damage. Even low levels of lead are linked to lower IQ scores.

How Much Lead is Considered Harmful?

Blood lead levels (BLL) in children found to be over 10 micrograms per deciliter are reason for concern. A microgram is one millionth of a gram. A deciliter is about half a cup of liquid. Children with concentrations less than 10 mcg/dL are not currently considered to have excess lead exposure. However, some recent studies suggest that adverse health effects exist in children at blood lead levels less than 10 mcg/dL. For example, a 2003 study that NIEHS supported found that blood lead concentrations lower than 10 micrograms per deciliter can impair a child’s ability to learn and result in lower IQ scores.

Calcium Supplements Lower Blood Lead in Nursing Mothers

research from Harvard School of Public Health

Exposure to lead from a variety of sources has been known for centuries to cause adverse health effects. Children are especially vulnerable to learning and behavioral deficits resulting from lead exposure. Pregnancy and breast-feeding are known to cause a marked turnover of lead stored in bones, which account for 95% of lead found in adults. Therefore, lactation places women and their breast-fed infants at an increased risk of lead exposure. Dietary calcium supplements have been shown to reduce fetal lead exposure; however no reports in the literature exist of testing this hypothesis with a properly conducted clinical trial. To address this issue, these investigators conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial to determine if taking 1,200 mg of calcium each day lowered blood lead levels in lactating women.

Calcium supplementation produced a small reduction in blood lead levels: The effect was more apparent for women with higher bone lead levels and who were more compliant with taking the supplements. Women with high bone lead levels experienced a 16% decline in blood lead levels.

This trial demonstrates that calcium supplementation may be effective in decreasing blood lead levels in lactating women. Because dietary lead absorption and bone lead mobilization are likely to be similar during pregnancy and lactation, calcium supplementation is likely to reduce lead exposure to the fetus as well.

Foods High in Lead Content

Lead content is in mcg per 100 g of food weight.


Lead
Food Name

26.5
Mussel, green, steamed or boiled

16.5
Lamb, kidney, simmered

11.4
Bassa (basa), steamed or poached

9.8
Barramundi, aquacultured fillets, steamed or poached

9.7
Bassa (basa), fillet, raw

8.6
Silver perch, aquacultured, steamed or poached

8.3
Barramundi, aquacultured, fillets, raw

8.2
Salmon, Atlantic, steamed or poached

7.3
Silver perch, aquacultured, raw

7.0
Salmon, Atlantic, fillets, raw

6.5
Milkfish, aquacultured, steamed or poached

6.2
Trout, rainbow, aquacultured, steamed or poached

6.0
Venison, mince, premium, dry fried

5.5
Milkfish, aquacultured, raw

5.2
Trout, rainbow, aquacultured, raw

4.7
Lamb, liver, grilled

4.2
Venison, mince, premium, raw

3.8
Sultana

3.6
Chocolate, milk, with dried fruit & nut

3.1
Dried fruit mix (raisin or sultana), milk chocolate-coated

2.9
Crabmeat, canned in brine, drained

2.8
Venison, stir fry strips, lean, dry fried

2.6
Crabmeat, canned in brine

2.4
Tilapia, steamed or poached

2.2
Chocolate, milk, with added milk solids

2.0
Tilapia, fillet, raw

2.0
Biscuit, sweet, plain

2.0
Dried fruit & nut mix, milk chocolate-coated

2.0
Potato, coliban, peeled, boiled


Lead
Food Name

1.9
Venison, stir fry strips, lean, raw

1.8
Wine, white, medium sweet style (~ 2.5% sugars)

1.8
Wine, white, medium dry style (~ 1% sugars)

1.8
Wine, white, dry style (sugars content < 1%)

1.7
Tahini, sesame seed pulp

1.6
Cabbage, bok choy, stir-fried without oil

1.6
Bread, from wholemeal flour, toasted

1.6
Cheese, feta (fetta), sheep & cows milk

1.6
Seed, sesame, white

1.4
Bread, from wholemeal flour

1.2
Pizza, supreme, purchased frozen, baked

1.2
Pizza, supreme, thick base, fast food chain-style

1.2
Pizza, supreme, thin base, fast food chain style

1.2
Pizza, ham & pineapple, purchased frozen, baked

1.2
Pizza, ham & pineapple, thin base, fast food chain-style

1.2
Pizza, supreme, takeaway style

1.2
Pizza, ham & pineapple, takeaway style

1.2
Pizza, ham & pineapple, thick base, fast food chain-style

1.1
Cabbage, bok choy, raw

1.1
Biscuit, savoury, cheese-flavored

1.1
Potato, red skin, peeled, boiled

1.0
Breakfast cereal, mixed grain (wheat, oat & corn), extruded shapes, added vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 & C,

Ca & Fe

1.0
Biscuit, savoury, rice cracker

1.0
Breakfast cereal, wheat bran, flakes, sultanas, added vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 & folate, Fe & Zn

0.9
Breakfast cereal, mixed grain flakes (wheat, oats), added dried fruit, added vitamins B1, B2, B3 & folate

& Fe

0.9
Almond, milk chocolate-coated

0.9
Prawn, king (large size), flesh only, purchased cooked

0.9
Prawn, school, flesh only, purchased cooked

0.8
Salami, danish

0.8
Salami, unspecified variety


Lead
Food Name

0.8
Salami, mettwurst

0.8
Salami, pepperoni

0.8
Lettuce, cos, raw

0.8
Salami, hungarian

0.8
Lettuce, mignonette, raw

0.8
Salami, milano

0.8
Lettuce, iceberg, raw

0.7
Avocado, raw

0.6
Sausage, beef, fried

0.6
Cake, chocolate, iced, commercial

0.6
Nut, walnut, raw

0.6
Potato, pale skin, peeled, boiled

0.6
Hamburger, plain (beef pattie, lettuce, tomato, onion, sauce), takeaway shop

0.6
Macadamia, milk chocolate-coated

0.6
Water, tap

0.6
Peanut, milk chocolate-coated

0.6
Sausage, beef, grilled

0.5
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~1% fat), unflavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

0.5
Sprout, alfalfa, raw

0.5
Cucumber, lebanese, unpeeled, raw

0.5
Cucumber, telegraph, unpeeled, raw

0.5
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~ 1.5%), coffee flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

0.5
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), unflavored, added calcium

0.5
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), chocolate flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

0.5
Breakfast cereal, whole wheat, flakes, added dried fruit & nuts, added vitamins B1, B2, B3 & folate, Ca,

Fe & fibre

0.5
Milk, cow, fluid, reduced fat (1.5%), increased Ca, folate & vitamin D

0.5
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~ 1.5%), chocolate flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

0.5
Pasta, white wheat flour, boiled from dry, no added salt

0.5
Soy beverage, regular fat (~ 3%), unflavored, added Ca, vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

0.5
Bread, from white flour, toasted


Lead
Food Name

0.5
Egg, chicken, whole, omega-3 polyunsaturate enriched, raw

0.5
Cucumber, common, unpeeled, raw

0.5
Bread, mixed grain, toasted

0.5
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), unflavored, unfortified

0.5
Breakfast cereal, beverage, all flavors, added vitamins A, B1, B2, C & folate

0.5
Egg, chicken, whole, omega-3 polyunsaturate enriched, boiled

0.5
Milk, cow, fluid, regular fat (3.5%), added omega 3 polyunsaturates

0.5
Bread, from white flour, added omega-3 polyunsaturates, toasted

0.5
Cheese, cheddar, regular fat

0.5
Cheese, cheddar, processed, reduced fat (~16%), added vitamin D

0.5
Pasta, white wheat flour, boiled from dry, with added salt

0.5
Chicken, breast, lean, grilled

0.5
Milk, cow, fluid, reduced fat (1.5%), added omega 3 polyunsaturates

0.5
Cucumber, apple crystal, unpeeled, raw

0.5
Cheese, cheddar, processed, reduced fat (~8%), added vitamin D

0.5
Mushroom, common, stir-fried without oil

0.4
Venison, leg medallion, lean, dry fried

0.4
Venison, leg medallion, lean, raw

0.4
Bread, mixed grain

0.4
Cake, lamington, plain, commercial

0.4
Bread, from white flour, added omega-3 polyunsaturates

0.4
Beverage base, chocolate flavor, added minerals calcium & iron & vitamins A, B1, B2, C & D

0.4
Bread, from white flour

0.4
Venison, diced, lean, dry fried

0.3
Chicken, drumstick, lean, baked without oil

0.3
Chiko roll, deep fried

0.3
Venison, diced, lean, raw

0.3
Beetroot, canned, drained

0.3
Tea, regular, brewed from leaf or teabags, without milk

0.2
Pork, leg steak (round, rump, topside, silverside), as purchased, dry fried

0.2
Pork, rump steak, separable lean, dry fried

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