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Health & Fit: 5 Trader Joe's meals contain concerning levels of lead, from spinach salad to pesto tortellini, lawsuit alleges

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Trader Joe's Super Spinach Salad, Palak Paneer, Riced Caulifower, Vegetable Spring Rolls, and Organic Pesto Tortellini (not pictured) allegedly contain lead levels beyond what's recommended for adults. Custodio & Dubey © Custodio & Dubey Trader Joe's Super Spinach Salad, Palak Paneer, Riced Caulifower, Vegetable Spring Rolls, and Organic Pesto Tortellini (not pictured) allegedly contain lead levels beyond what's recommended for adults. Custodio & Dubey
  • 5 Trader Joe's products may contain lead exceeding the FDA's recommended maximum.
  • A lawsuit alleged that lab tests found more than 25 micrograms of lead in a single serving of Super Spinach Salad.
  • The grocery chain's Palak Paneer and cauliflower rice had lower, but still concerning, lead levels.

Some Trader Joe's products may come with dangerous levels of lead, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

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The lawsuit alleges that five popular foods from the grocery chain each contain enough lead per serving to affect reproductive health and development if consumed daily, based on results from an independent lab.

One serving of Trader Joe's Super Spinach Salad had 25.30 µg (micrograms) of lead, which is more than double the Food and Drug Association's reference level for maximum daily lead consumption.

The frozen Palak Paneer also exceeded the FDA's recommended limit of 12 µg of lead per day for adults, with 16.20 µg in a single serving. Other dishes, like the Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry and the Organic Pesto Tortellini, came in just under the FDA limit.

The FDA calculates maximum daily lead limits based on how much lead a person would need to consume every day to reach a blood lead level of 5.0 µg/dL. For kids, it takes less lead to reach that level, so they're capped at a maximum of 3 µg per day.

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However, state governments have different standards for lead exposure. California's Proposition 65 established a maximum allowable lead level of 0.5 µg per day based on the risk of reproductive toxicity associated with lead levels exceeding that limit.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently lowered its reference for "concerning" blood lead levels in children from 5.0 to 3.5 µg/dL.

Lead can build up in the human body over years, so even a small amount could have harmful, long-term effects on health. Lead poisoning can affect fertility and cause some neurological symptoms in adults. However, the heavy metal is most well known for its potential to stall children's brain development.

The final Trader Joe's product tested — frozen Vegetable Spring Rolls — had 4.40 µg of lead per serving, which is too much for a child by any metric. Experts have previously told Insider that there's no safe level of lead for children.

Trader Joe's did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Insider

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