Understanding Lead in Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches: Questions for the Pediatrician

Recent warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding certain brands of cinnamon applesauce and apple puree pouches have raised concerns about lead contamination in baby foods. The FDA has reported that at least 52 toddlers in several states have had high blood lead levels linked to the recalled applesauce and apple puree pouches.

The source of the lead contamination is suspected to be the cinnamon used in the products. The FDA found that a sample of cinnamon applesauce had 200 times more lead than allowed in food. The agency is currently investigating the source of the cinnamon and screening shipments from outside the U.S. for lead.

If a child has consumed the recalled applesauce, the most important step is to prevent further lead exposure. Parents are advised to discard the recalled pouches and seek a blood test for lead levels. Lead, arsenic, and mercury are pollutants that can contaminate plants and spices, leading to potential Health risks for children. Lead is particularly dangerous as it can affect a child’s brain development and behavior.

It’s important to note that lead contamination is not limited to food products. Lead can also be found in older homes with lead-based paint, imported spices, candies, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and even in soil and water sources. Jobs, hobbies, and certain materials can also pose lead hazards.

Preventing further lead exposure is crucial for children’s health. This includes ensuring a healthy diet rich in calcium and iron, promoting good sleep, and stimulating brain development through activities like reading and puzzles.

On a historic note, lead poisoning has been a known public health issue for centuries. The use of lead in household products, paints, and pipes has been a concern for many years. Efforts to monitor and regulate lead in food and consumer products continue to be a priority to safeguard public health.

In conclusion, it’s imperative for parents to be vigilant about lead exposure and take necessary precautions to protect children from its harmful effects. Seeking medical advice, ensuring a safe environment, and promoting overall well-being are essential in addressing the risks associated with lead contamination.


Dr. Osterhoudt, a board-certified pediatrician and medical toxicologist, emphasizes the importance of preventing further lead exposure in children. He holds key positions in pediatric and environmental health organizations, contributing to the ongoing efforts to address lead contamination and its impact on public health.

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