Given the lead contamination present in candies containing chili imported from Mexico, 25 sizzling sauces have been examined for heavy metals.

“Lead toxicity is prevalent and a major concern of public health,” particularly for infants. “One of the important sources of lead exposure for the fetus and infant is maternal blood. Lead in the maternal blood”—that’s, in pregnant and nursing ladies’s bloodstreams—“readily crosses the placenta and mammary glands,” leaching into breast milk. Where does the lead come from? Most might originate from the mom’s skeleton, the place lead from previous exposures builds up. Past exposures to what? “The FDA reports that reproductive age women in the U.S. are exposed to lead through food (43%), dust (31%), water (22%), and air (4%).”

Among the extra atypical sources of childhood lead poisoning within the United States are “lead-tainted candies,” together with, sarcastically, manufacturers with names like “Toxic Waste.” (The FDA recalled the “Nuclear Sludge” number of Toxic Waste’s candies, however not its others.) Many of the contaminated candies have been imported from Mexico, “especially those containing chili and salt as major ingredients.” It’s not clear whether or not “the chili additives were being contaminated during the open-air drying process. Other potential sources of this contamination might be the grinding stones involved in preparation of chili powder, or the possible use of lead arsenate as a pesticide agent.” They simply don’t know.

Wait a second. There’s one thing else in grocery shops containing imported chilis and salt as main elements: sizzling sauce. I talk about this in my video Lead Contamination in Hot Sauces.

“In the last decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several warnings and recalls for food products that exceed FDA standards for lead. Products containing chili peppers and salt”—such because the candies—“were often suspected as sources of lead contamination….However, products such as hot sauces that contain similar ingredients have not been the focus of evaluations” till this “first known investigation of lead concentrations in hot sauces,” that’s.

As you’ll be able to see at 1:52 in my video, researchers examined 25 completely different sizzling sauces, and about 9 out of 10 “contained a detectable level of lead,” although solely 4 manufacturers exceeded the FDA’s motion stage of 0.1 elements per million. But, that 0.1 ppm is the sweet commonplace, so, technically, not one of the sizzling sauces may be recalled from U.S. cabinets. Although sweet and sizzling sauce comprise widespread elements, there merely is not any sizzling sauce commonplace.

The most contaminated sizzling sauces had a couple of microgram of lead per teaspoon, which can be greater than younger children ought to be getting of their day by day weight loss plan, however what number of six-year-olds are consuming sizzling sauce by the spoonful? “Although hot sauce would not be intuitively counted amongst food products highly consumed by children, ethnic and cultural practices must be considered. Chili peppers and salt are commonly used in Mexican-style candies, condiments, hot sauces and everyday cuisine.” So, the researchers wish to see the identical stringent sweet commonplace of 0.1 ppm lead utilized to sizzling sauce—or no less than have some restrict put in place. 

Without enforceable requirements for decent sauces, what motivation do producers need to even look into the issue? It could possibly be the soil, for instance. The soil the place the peppers develop could also be so contaminated with lead that simply washing off any residue on peppers after selecting might minimize lead ranges fourfold within the closing product—however why trouble taking the additional step to rinse off filth if nobody’s checking?

Are there every other imports we ought to be involved about? I talked concerning the heavy steel contamination of natural dietary supplements in my video Get the Lead Out, however not this sort of natural complement: marijuana. “Several hundred people suffered lead poisoning presumably resulting from the desire of drug dealers to maximize profits.” Lead is heavy—about 50 occasions heavier than oregano—so it’s “particularly useful for driving up profits” when the product is bought by weight. And it wasn’t refined. You can see the little lead particles within the product at 3:48 in my video. Why was there an epidemic of lead poisoning amongst younger college students with “body piercings”? Because sellers may make an additional $1,500 per kilogram of marijuana.

Want to make your personal sizzling sauce? I’ve a scrumptious recipe for Healthy Hot Sauce with all green-light elements in my How Not to Die Cookbook!

Interested in studying extra about lead? Take a deep dive:

  • How the Lead Paint Industry Got Away with It
  • Lead in Drinking Water
  • How the Leaded Gas Industry Got Away with It
  • “Normal” Blood Lead Levels Can Be Toxic
  • The Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure in Adults
  • How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?
  • How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Breakfast, Whole Grains, Milk, Tofu?
  • Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
  • Best Food for Lead Poisoning: Garlic
  • Can Vitamin C Help with Lead Poisoning?
  • Yellow Bell Peppers for Male Infertility and Lead Poisoning?
  • Lead Contamination in Fish and Game
  • Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?
  • The Rise in Blood Lead Levels at Pregnancy and Menopause
  • Lead in Calcium Supplements
  • How Much Lead Is in Organic Chicken Soup (Bone Broth)?
  • Heavy Metal Urine Testing and Chelation for Autism
  • How to Lower Heavy Metal Levels with Diet
  • Flashback Friday: Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?
  • Is Lipstick Safe Given the Lead Contamination?


In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

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