Published: July 7, 2022 – Thursday
For easy reference, I have just uploaded PDFs of the two summary pages for the August 2021 European regulations on Lead and Cadmium in “foodstuffs” (aka: “stuff you might put in your mouth or swallow” – including Spices, Supplements and Salt) below. Continue reading below the links for some specific highlights and considerations brought up by these new (stricter) regulatory standards.
- Uploaded PDF for the August 2021 Lead Standards
- Uploaded PDF for the August 2021 Cadmium Standards
- Link to the website where these can be found – in many languages, too! (EUR-Lex, Access to European Union law, An official website of the European Union)
- Link to one summary article that shared this information when it was published (from FoodSafetyNews.com)
Two important quotes from the above linked article (#4):
In January 2009, a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion on Cadmium in food concluded it is primarily toxic to the kidneys and may cause renal failure. The agency set a tolerable weekly intake for cadmium of 2.5 μg per kilogram of body weight.
In March 2010, an EFSA opinion on Lead in food identified it can cause developmental neurotoxicity in young children and cardiovascular issues in adults. The authority expressed a concern that the levels of dietary exposure to lead might affect neurodevelopment in fetuses, infants, and children.
Continue reading for some specific highlights and considerations about these August 2021 European limits
- The regulatory limits listed in the above linked reports are noted in mg/kg (read as “milligram per kilogram”).
- Mg/kg said another way is parts per million (ppm).
- One part per million (1 ppm) equals 1,000 ppb (parts per billion.)
- In general, in the United States food toxicity is measured in parts per billion. [Billion with a “B”]
- Here is an article I wrote with a bunch of different conversion examples for context.
- If you need a unit conversion calculator, there are many available online. Here’s one link as an example.
Some of the more important highlights from the limit summaries linked above
LEAD LIMITS of interest
- The new European limit for Lead in most salt is 1,000 parts per billion (1.0 ppm)
- The new European limit for Lead in honey is 100 parts per billion (0.1 ppm)
- The new European limit for Lead in supplements is 3,000 parts per billion (3.0 ppm)
- The new European limits for Lead in wines ranges from 100 to 200 parts per billion (0.1 to 0.2 ppm)
- The new European limits for Lead in fruit juices ranges from 30 to 50 parts billion (0.03 to 0.05 ppm)
- The new European limit for Lead in most fresh fruit is 100 parts per billion (0.1 ppm)
- The new European Medical Foods and Formula limits for children range from 10 to 20 parts per billion (0.01 to 0.02 ppm)
Cadmium LIMITS of interest
- The new European limit for Cadmium in most salt is 500 parts per billion (0.5 ppm)
- The new European limit for Cadmium in most supplements is 1,000 parts per billion (1.0 ppm)
- The new European limit for Cadmium in most powdered baby formula is 10 parts per billion (0.01 ppm)
FYI: How / why I came across this information in June of 2022
While I was aware that new European legislation had been passed, outside of the concerns and European limits for Cadmium in chocolate – since the new limits were published I had not yet referenced it in any of my writing (to provide context for some of the level of Lead and Cadmium that I have found in various products). In June of 2022 I was researching / looking for some background data / studies to support my assertions that the Lead and Cadmium found in Primal Life Organics bentonite clay-based toothpaste were unsafe levels (I knew from my previous research on bentonite clay contamination the levels found were unsafe, but I wanted to find more peer reviewed science and regulatory standards to support my statements), and that’s when I came across the information I have linked above.
While all of the highlighted points of note in the bulleted lists above are interesting – I find it ESPECIALLY interesting that the new official European limit for fresh FRUIT for Lead is 100 parts per billion (0.1 ppm). This is particularly pertinent because (across the board, really) the makers of bentonite clay based toothpaste products and other clay-based supplements persistently claim that their products “don’t have any more Lead than one might find in fruit” (which I already knew was BS, based on the extensive testing I have done over the past 13 years, but I was looking for some more official statements on that specific point to support my writing). So these toothpaste powders (and their clay base) are testing positive for levels in the range of 4,000 to 22,000 parts per billion Lead (and – again – the regulatory limit for Lead in fruit is 100 ppb)! Nuff said?
I couldn’t find any specific European limits for Lead in Cadmium in toothpaste specifically so I wrote the following email – I will let you all know if I get any sort of response (but check out the automatic response I received right away – below):
Here’s the preliminary automatic response I received – it is actually something like three pages long (so much fun to see an automated response in so many different languages!