Friday, January 28, 2011
LEAD IN CANDY - HOW BIG A RISK?
The toxic "Nuclear Sludge" candy that was distributed for years by Candy Dynamics (including the flavor in the photo - thank you, Candy Addict)is getting more publicity. As a result, people are also becoming increasingly worried. Especially all those thousands of people all over the world (as well as in the U.S. and Canada) who love this sour candy - maybe more for its edgy advertising and clever marketing than for its taste.
But lead is no joke. It is bad enough having it in some of that old paint in our homes. High levels of lead in the candy we and our children eat is worse. But just how bad?
As in almost all threats in our food (and in treats) it depends who you are and how much you eat. If you have eaten one piece of "Nuclear Sludge" don't worry. But if you or your members of your family have eaten it regularly, and eaten a lot of it, you may need to be. This applies particularly to:
• pregnant women,
• young children.
Your age and nutritional status can also affect how much of the lead your body actually absorbs from the food or treats you ingest (more on this in a future blog). Most health experts agree on these risk factors. But what if you believe either you or your children may have got too much?
To quote Mike Sicilia, a spokesman with the California Health Department. "If you had one piece of this, I wouldn't be too concerned." If you're pregnant, I would talk to your physician." Good advice. I would also apply this to your young children if they are regular munchers on "Toxic Sludge". A blood test for lead levels will probably be ordered as a first step. But before you do go to that doctor, take along the basic information - how much you (or your child) have eaten, over what period of time. And, in case he or she has not seen the recall data, which includes suspected levels of lead in the candy, print out the FDA's recall notice for today and take it with you. Here's the link: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm241359.htm . (Yes, the first date on the notice is 2010, but the FDA seems not to have entered 2011 yet! ).
And in future, if you have a craving for something sour, suck on a slice of lemon - while watching those cute adds for Toxic Candy. Much safer.