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Organic Consumers Association

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Arsenic and Lead Are in Your Fruit Juice: What You Need to Know

CR finds concerning levels of heavy metals in almost half of tested juices. Here’s how to protect yourself and your family.

Fruit juice’s health halo has slipped in recent years, mainly because it packs a lot of sugar and calories. But there’s another, lesser-known health risk with these juices: They may also contain potentially harmful levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead, according to new tests from Consumer Reports.

CR tested 45 popular fruit juices sold across the country—including apple, grape, pear, and fruit blends—and found elevated levels of those elements, commonly known as heavy metals, in almost half of them, including juices marketed for children. “In some cases, drinking just 4 ounces a day—or half a cup—is enough to raise concern,” says James Dickerson, Ph.D., CR’s chief scientific officer.

Our test focused on cadmium, leadmercury, and inorganic arsenic (the type most harmful to health) because they pose some of the greatest risks, and prior research suggests they are common in food and drink.

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