By Lyssa Rome
Just like that, the number of children at risk for lead poisoning jumped five-fold yesterday as the Centers for Disease Control announced that it cut its threshold for lead poisoning diagnosis in half. The new diagnosis will occur at five micrograms per deciliter of blood. The former threshold was 10.
Health advocates have worked to alert the public to the risks of lead in paint, toys and even jewelry. But lead can also be found in – of all things tempting to children – candy. Candy with high levels of lead may not taste unusual. In fact, some kinds of lead even taste sweet.
Lead is a major environmental health risk. It affects almost every system in the body, including the brain and other organs, but the symptoms aren’t always obvious. For children, exposure to even minute quantities of lead can cause long-term developmental problems, including lower IQ, and the damage may not be reversible.
Most of those candies are imported, mainly from four countries: Mexico, Malaysia, China and India. That’s where the candies come from, but what about the lead itself? Continue reading