In the midst of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation of recalled Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches, the parents of 69 children are facing the grim reality of lead poisoning. As of December 19, 2023, all sickened consumers of the lead-tainted applesauce have been under the age of six years old.
Children have been found to be at greater risk for lead poisoning than adults, due to the fact that their bodies absorb up to five times the amount of lead that an adult does from the same given source. This can often be due to the higher chances for iron-deficiency in children; as iron decreases the amount of lead absorbed into the bloodstream through the GI tract.
In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that no safe blood lead level has been discovered in children, stating that, “…Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to negatively affect a child’s intelligence, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.” Studies have further revealed that exposure to lead as a child often can result in delayed development, growth stunt, permanent damage to both the nervous system and brain, auditory and visual impairments, and learning handicaps; resulting in decreased academic and workforce performance.
For a more comprehensive list of effects of lead poisoning in children, see the 8 important things to know about lead poisoning – a fact sheet for parents.
Typically, it is difficult to immediately confirm lead poisoning in a child, as an adverse reaction may not be visible from the outside. One of the best ways to identify lead exposure is through a blood lead test. As Ron Simon, the first National Food Poisoning Lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit in the WanaBana Lead Poisoning Outbreak confirmed, “Individuals or parents of children who have consumed the lead-tainted, recalled Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches should promptly contact their healthcare provider in order to receive a blood lead test.”
This investigation is ongoing by the United States Food and Drug Administration and other state departments.