High levels of toxic metals have been discovered in samples of fruit juices and an oat milk.
Almost all the 60 drinks tested contained some metals, but five had levels that were far above safety guidelines, say researchers from Tulane University.
Two mixed juices had large amounts of arsenic, and a cranberry juice, a mixed carrot and fruit juice, and an oat milk contained levels of cadmium that also exceeded safe limits.
The drinks contained seven elements—nickel, manganese, boron, cadmium, strontium, arsenic and selenium—that exceeded safe drinking water guidelines. Lead was also found in most of the drinks, but the largest amount was in a lime sports drink.
The researchers think the metals come from contaminated soil where the fruits were grown.
The findings are a special alert to parents of young children, the researchers say. “People should avoid giving infants and young children large amounts of mixed-fruit juices or plant-based milks,” said Tewodros Godebo, one of the researchers. Arsenic, lead and cadmium are carcinogenic, and can cause organ damage and affect healthy cognitive development.