Quantcast

Are You Eating Toxic Chocolate? Lead Found in Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s and Other Chocolates

Consumer health watchdog As You Sow released results Wednesday showing that 35 of 50 chocolate products tested, including chocolate bunnies and eggs, expose consumers to lead and cadmium above levels set by California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

Testing commissioned by As You Sow, and conducted at independent laboratories, indicates that the chocolate products contain lead and/or cadmium, and they fail to provide the legally required warning to consumers.

“Lead exposure is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and decreased IQ, even at very low levels. In fact, there is no safe level of lead for children," said Eleanne van Vliet, MPH, As You Sow's environmental health consultant.

As You Sow has filed legal notices against chocolate manufacturers, including Trader Joe's, Hershey's, Green and Black's, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See's Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics and more, for failure to warn of lead and/or cadmium in their chocolate products.

“As underscored by the Flint disaster, humans have contaminated our environment with lead, and now we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and children, who are the most vulnerable of us, from every possible exposure," said Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Young children and pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to lead."

Scientists have linked chronic cadmium exposure to kidney, liver and bone damage in humans. Children are more susceptible to especially susceptible to even from low doses over time. Animal studies associate cadmium exposure with decreased birth weight, neurobehavioral problems and male reproductive harm.

Recent revelations of lead contamination in water in Flint, Michigan raised awareness that lead is irrefutably linked to neurological impacts in children. Since 1992, As You Sow has led enforcement actions resulting in removal of lead from children's jewelry and formaldehyde from portable classrooms.

“Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children," explained Danielle Fugere, As You Sow president. “Our goal is to work with chocolate manufacturers to find ways to avoid these metals in their products."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

7 Types of Plastic Wreaking Havoc on Our Health

Pro Surfer Cyrus Sutton Develops Sunblock Safe for People and the Planet

Want to Buy Non-Toxic Products? Look for One of These Five Labels

Portland Becomes 7th City to Sue Monsanto Over PCB Contamination

Sponsored
Visitors to the Grand Canyon may have been exposed to unsafe radiation levels, for almost two decades. George Rose / Getty Images

Grand Canyon visitors and employees who passed through the national park's museum collection building were exposed to radiation for nearly two decades, AZCentral reported Monday.

That's because, until last year, three five-gallon paint buckets filled with uranium ore were stored in the building, according to a Feb. 4 email sent out to all National Park Service employees by Grand Canyon safety, health and wellness manager Elston "Swede" Stephenson.

Read More Show Less

The Grand Canyon celebrates its 100th birthday as a national park this month, but it just earned itself a protector who is even older!

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Portland alley advocates estimate there are 76 miles of alleys in their city—all potential green public spaces. This northeast Portland neighborhood is one of many projects reclaiming forgotten concrete pathways for nature and people. Derek Dauphin

By Lynn Freehill-Maye

Rachel Schutz hated watching the kids play outside, and not because she was a curmudgeon. As director of an after-school program in a Latino neighborhood near ­Portland, Oregon, she likes the outdoors, the piney tang that hangs in the damp air.

Read More Show Less
RiverNorthPhotography / E+ / Getty Images

Today, the U.S. celebrates Presidents' Day, a day to commemorate the leadership and legacy of the so-far only men who have governed the country since its founding.

Read More Show Less
Bogdan Kurylo / iStock / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

If you think this is going to be yet another column admonishing you for not doing enough to curb the amount of single-use plastic in our waste stream, you can relax. You don't need a lecture at this point.

Read More Show Less