HealthToxic metals exceeding safe levels discovered in popular non-alcoholic beverages, study finds

Toxic metals exceeding safe levels discovered in popular non‑alcoholic beverages, study finds

Images source: © Licensor

9:32 AM EST, January 13, 2024

Raised levels of toxic metals found in frequently consumed non-alcoholic drinks are eliciting worries among the public and regulatory bodies. Hence, regular monitoring of these components is crucial.

Mixed fruit juices and plant-based milks

A team of researchers evaluated 60 non-alcoholic beverages that were purchased in Louisiana but sold nationwide. In five of these drinks, the metal levels were higher than the standards used for potable water.

Beverage samples commonly available in grocery stores—including fruit juices, plant-based milks, teas, and carbonated drinks— were tested for the presence of 25 elements. Seven elements – nickel, manganese, boron, cadmium, strontium, arsenic, and selenium—were detected in five of the beverages.

Maximum concentration of these elements was noted in mixed fruit juices and in oat and almond milk. Although lead was detected in over 93% of the 60 samples, the majority contained very low concentrations of it.

The highest dose – 6.3 micrograms per kilogram – was found in a lime beverage for athletes, which roughly converts to 0.003 ounces per pound in US customary units.

The researchers intend to evaluate the risks involved in consuming these toxic metals by children and adults.

They reported that all aforementioned beverages are consumed less frequently than water, so the health risk for adults who consume them is considered insignificant.

It's definitely not advised to give these beverages to children, especially during their infancy.

"Arsenic, lead, and cadmium are known carcinogens, and it is well established that they cause damage to internal organs and cognitive dysfunction in children, especially during early brain development." Wrote Tewodros Godebo, one of the scientists, in the report

The research team clarified that most of the elements found likely originate from contaminated soil, and they emphasized that it is challenging to entirely eliminate these metals because they occur naturally.

Related content