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J Assoc Off Anal Chem. 1982 Jul;65(4):942-6.

Levels of lead in the United States food supply.


As a result of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) concern about lead in the food supply, considerable data have been developed in recent years by FDA, other agencies, and industry on the levels of lead in foods. Data obtained on the lead content of milk, eggs, meat, fish, and shellfish indicate that the mean levels in these unprocessed foods varied from 0.02 to about 0.4 ppm, with the lowest level in milk. The major food processing source of lead in food is the lead-soldered can. FDA had assigned top priority to the reduction of lead in foods for infants because of their greater susceptibility to the toxic effects of this metal. The lead levels in foods for infants are now only 1/5 to 1/10 of what they were when FDA expressed its concern about lead to the manufacturers of canned infant formula, evaporated milk, canned infant juices, and glass-packed infant foods. FDA priority interest has now shifted to reduction of lead in adult canned foods, especially those eaten by young children. The mean levels in such foods have decreased from 0.35-0.40 ppm in 1974 to 0.20-0.25 ppm in 1980.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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