Certain beverages that Americans swear by reportedly contain toxic materials that surpass federal safety standards, a new study has found.
From among the 60 different kinds of beverages studied, at least five were found to have some level of toxic metal that didn’t adhere to the federal drinking water regulations.
Two mixed juices had levels of arsenic above the 10 microgram/liter standard, while a cranberry juice, a mixed carrot and fruit juice, and oat milk each had levels of cadmium exceeding the three parts per billion standards.
The findings of the research were published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.
Drinks of a diversified range, including single and mixed fruit juices, plant-based milk, sodas, and teas, were studied for 25 different toxic metals and trace elements. Mixed fruit juices and plant-based milk such as oats or almond milk were determined to contain higher levels of toxic metals than other drinks.
Seven out of the 25 elements tested were found to be in higher concentration in some drinks. These elements include nickel, manganese, boron, cadmium, strontium, arsenic, and selenium.
Lead was a common find in all the different beverages studied, in more than 93% of the 60 samples. Most, however, contained very low levels: below 1 part per billion, as per Futurity.
The highest level was found in a lime sports drink (6.3 micrograms/kg), though that didn’t violate Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization standards for drinking water.
Tewodros Godebo, lead author and assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said the study was important as it was an eye-opener on the contents of American beverages.
“It was surprising that there aren’t a lot of studies out there concerning toxic and essential elements in soft drinks in the United States,” Godebo said, according to Science Daily. “This creates awareness that there needs to be more study.”
In theory, the drinks may not pose too big a threat to adult health as they are consumed in smaller quantities than water, but parents should remain super aware as to what they are offering to their children, Godebo said.
“People should avoid giving infants and young children mixed-fruit juices or plant-based milk at high volume,” he told Science Daily. “Arsenic, lead, and cadmium are known carcinogens and are well established to cause internal organ damage and cognitive harm in children, especially during early brain development.
Most of these toxic metals found in beverages are hard to get rid of as they come from contaminated soil, Godebo said.
“These metals are naturally occurring so it’s hard to get rid of completely.”
He added that further risk assessment measures will be conducted to find out whether there’s a direct impact of the toxic materials on children and adults.
“We are curious to keep exploring what’s in our drinks and foods commercially sold to the consumers,” Godebo said.
Published by Medicaldaily.com